The Wildcats were so good at home last season and not many teams were able to give Villanova a scare either at The Pavilion or the Wells Fargo Center. Many of the games were walks in the park as Nova only lost three games all of last season and went undefeated at home. Jay Wright's bunch will look a little bit different this season, but will be the favorites in the Big East once again. With all of that in mind, it is no surprise that the big games for Villanova this season are away from home.
5) Oklahoma vs. Villanova (December 7th)
Pearl Harbor Day is still a solemn day in America as it marks one of the most devastating attacks in our great country's history. This year the Sooners and Wildcats will play on the holiday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as they look to provide some entertainment on what is still an emotional day for those who remember it.
As far as the basketball is concerned, Buddy Hield and OU are looking to make a run to the Final Four so this will be a nice test for the Wildcats early in the season. We will get an early idea of what the younger Nova players are made of when these two huge programs meet up in a game that will likely feature two ranked teams.
4) Villanova at Providence (February 6th)
We move on to a matchup between last year's Co-Big East players of the year as Ryan Arcidiacono and the Wildcats head to Providence to take on Kris Dunn and the Friars. In the last few seasons we have seen great games between these two programs. The last time they met was in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament where Dunn shined, Arch hit the free throws and LaDontae Henton missed a three at the buzzer. Villanova held on to win 63-61 over the then-defending Big East tournament champs and went on to capture the title themselves.
Both teams have a ton of talent in the frontcourt with players like Daniel Ochefu and Ben Bentil. Add in all of the great guard play, two fiery head coaches and this a must-watch game once again. The last two games in Providence have gone down to the wire and included an overtime thriller just two years ago. Expect another great game.
3) Villanova at Butler (January 10th)
Nova and Butler will meet at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the first time since Darrun Hilliard hit that dagger three-point shot in the final seconds to win it last season. Both teams have lost important players, but this game should be still be a battle to finish. Butler is looking to knock the Wildcats off and become the best team in the Big East. This season will likely provide the best opportunity for the Bulldogs to do it.
Led by Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham for one last season, Butler will need to win this game if they plan on claiming the conference regular season title. To be the best, you have to beat the best and at Hinkle Butler can pull it off. Nova will struggle in this game with Butler looking for revenge. However, a number of times last season pushed Nova to their limits and Wildcats played extremely well under the pressure. If the young players like Jalen Brunson can step up, expect Villanova to pick up right where they left off last season.
2) Villanova at Georgetown (December 16th)
Classic. Big East. Rivalry.
The Wildcats play the first of two on the road against the teams that beat Nova last season in the Big East with a visit to Washington DC and a date with the Hoyas. Last season, Georgetown jumped on Nova and delivered the Cats their worst loss of the entire season. Villanova lost by 20, but won the rematch by 15 at home so they already got their revenge for that loss.
This could be a huge game in deciding who wins the conference this season. Many believe that these two teams are the favorites to capture the conference title and this game could help decide the regular season winner. These programs have been huge rivals for decades and this is always a game that college basketball fans mark on their calendars.
1) Villanova at Virginia (December 19th)
If the Wildcats and Cavaliers play well early in the season then this matchup could one of the biggest in the entire country by the time they meet in the middle of December. Picture this. Both teams are 9-0 with some wins over good teams and climb the national rankings. This could into a top-10 or possibly even a top-5 matchup by the time Villanova has to travel to Charlottesville.
The Cavs are known for their defense and bring back Malcolm Brogdon, London Perrantes and Anthony Gill. Tony Bennett's teams always play well at home and will make Nova work for this game. It is a great offense against one of the best defenses in the country. This game could have classic written all over it and will be, of course, nationally televised. Forget about Big East fans, college basketball fans will not want to miss this one.