Senior Night announced

Tim Richer

One of men’s basketball’s most successful graduating classes will be honored next Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Pavilion for Senior Night 2009, according to Head Coach Jay Wright. The announcement came on Monday during Wright’s weekly radio show at Flip and Bailey’s in Rosemont.

Villanova will host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights after ceremonies that honor seniors Dwayne Anderson, Shane Clark, Dante Cunningham and Frank Tchuisi. Tip-off for the game is slated for 9 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

The Wildcats’ senior class currently holds a record of 92-33 (.736), which stands tied for second-best in school history. The class has reached the NCAA tournament in all three of its seasons, extending Villanova’s streak to four consecutive appearances. ‘Nova’s run is second-most in the Big East, behind Pittsburgh’s seven-straight appearances.

The senior’s 92 wins tie those of the ’07 and ’85 classes. The ’07 class featured Ross Condon, Mike Nardi, Will Sheridan and Curtis Sumpter, while the’85 National Championship class included Dwayne McClain, Gary McLain and title game MVP Ed Pinckney.

The Class of ’97 currently stands as the most successful four-year class in University history with 95 total wins. The graduates were Chuck Kornegay, Jason Lawson and Alvin Williams. The class earned three bids to the NCAA Tournament, which included two No. 3 seeds and a No. 4 seed. Despite its high ranking, the group was never able to advance beyond the round of 32 teams.

On the line during the game will be the Blue and White’s 26-game Pavilion winning streak that was extended on Tuesday with a 102-84 victory over the No. 10 Marquette Golden Eagles.

The Wildcats will finish out the regular season with three conference matchups over spring break. ‘Nova will face Georgetown at the Wachovia Center, Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. and Providence in the Pavilion.

Prior to the on-court ceremonies, seniors can attend a Senior Spirit Pre-Game Party that will feature music, free food and speeches from Wright and the graduating seniors.

The contest will mark the second time in three years that Senior Night will feature the Scarlet Knights. The ‘Cats defeated Rutgers 71-54 on Feb. 24, 2007 in front of a sold-out crowd that bade farewell to the adored superstar class of Condon, Nardi, Sheridan and Sumpter.