Rematches against the two teams that Villanova defeated in last season's NCAA Final Four on its way to the national championship highlight the Wildcats' 2018-19 non-conference schedule announced Wednesday.
The Wildcats will host Michigan, the team they knocked off 79-62 in the championship game, on Nov. 14 in the annual Gavitt Games, which matches teams from the Big East and Big Ten. They will travel to Phog Allen Fieldhouse and take on Kansas, a preseason No. 1 candidate, on Dec. 15.
Nova eliminated the Jayhawks, 95-79, in the national semifinals at San Antonio.
Winner of 22 consecutive Big Five games, Villanova will play both its City Series away contests at the Palestra, Dec. 1 versus La Salle and Dec. 11 against Penn. Its two home games will be back-to-back – Temple on Dec. 5 and St. Joe's on Dec. 8.
The Wildcats will return this season to the newly renovated Finneran Pavilion, where they haven't played since Feb. 25, 2017. An athletic department spokesman said the venue for individual home games – whether at the Pavilion or the Wells Fargo Center – would be announced when the full schedule is released in early September.
Villanova will compete in the three-game Advocare Invitational tournament in Orlando, Fla., during Thanksgiving week, opening Nov. 22 against Canisius and continuing the next day versus Memphis or Oklahoma State. The Wildcats have won a November tournament in five consecutive seasons.
The Cats will open their season Nov. 6 at home against Morgan State, followed by a home date four days later with Quinnipiac, which is coached by former 'Nova assistant Baker Dunleavy. They will travel to Madison Square Garden on Dec. 22 to take on Connecticut.
(times and TV to be announced)
Nov. 6: Morgan State
Nov. 10: Quinnipiac
Nov. 14: Michigan
Nov. 17: Furman
*Nov. 22: Canisius
*Nov. 23: Memphis or Oklahoma State
*Nov. 25: TBD
Dec. 1: at La Salle (Palestra)
>>READ MORE: La Salle moves Big Five matchup to the Palestra
Dec. 5: Temple
Dec. 8: Saint Joseph's
Dec. 11: at Penn
Dec. 15: at Kansas
**Dec. 22: Connecticut
*Advocare Invitational, Orlando