In a press release earlier today, Villanova men’s basketball announced that it will be playing a non-conference game against 2019 national champion Virginia on Dec. 19 in Madison Square Garden.
“We are always excited to play Virginia,” Head Coach Jay Wright said. “We have great respect for (UVA Head Coach) Tony Bennett, his program and the University of Virginia. It’s been a pure thrill for all of us to get to play this matchup at Madison Square Garden.”
In the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, ‘Nova and UVA split a home-and-home series. On Dec. 19, 2015 in Charlottesville, Va., the Cavaliers won, 86-75, as they were only one of the five teams that defeated the 2016 national champions. The 2016-17 matchup between the two powerhouses ended with a buzzer beating putback layup from Donte DiVincenzo to give the ‘Cats a 61-59 victory. With the matchup coming to the Garden, Executive Vice President of MSG Marquee Events/Operations Joel Fisher is excited to host the two teams.
“We are thrilled that two of the top college basketball programs in America are squaring off at Madison Square garden this winter,” Fisher said. “Villanova and Virginia have won three of the last four NCAA men’s Basketball Championships, so this will be a treat for New York area fans and a highlight for The Garden’s college basketball schedule next season.”
Since their most recent matchup with UVA in January of 2017, the ‘Cats have made MSG their home away from home. Including the regular season and postseason, Villanova has posted a 13-1, overall record including three consecutive Big East Tournament Championship victories.
Including the two matchups in 2016 and 2017, UVA holds a slight 5-3 advantage in the all-time series between the schools with the Cavaliers winning the first ever matchup, which took place in the second round of the 1981 NCAA Tournament.