2022-2023 Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Released


Maggie Mengel/Villanovan Photography

Villanova opens its season on Nov. 7 at the Finneran Pavilion against La Salle.

Colin Beazley, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Villanova men’s basketball released its 2022-2023 non-conference schedule on Thursday, announcing the dates and opponents for the first games of the Kyle Neptune era.

The Wildcats open their season with two Big 5 matchups against Philadelphia rivals, starting with a home contest against La Salle on Monday, Nov. 7 before traveling into the city for a matchup at Temple on Friday, Nov. 11. The game against La Salle will feature head coaching debuts for both programs, as it will be Neptune’s first game with Villanova and Fran Dunphy’s first with La Salle. Neptune coached Fordham last season, while Dunphy was most recently the head coach at Temple, stepping down in 2019.

After the weekend, the Wildcats will host Delaware State at the Finneran Pavilion on Monday, Nov. 14. The Hornets went 2-25 in 2021-2022, losing all 13 games on the road. Current Hornets head coach Stan Waterman coached Villanova rising sophomore Nnanna Njoku in high school at the Stanford School in Delaware.

Villanova faces its first true road game on Friday, Nov. 18, as the Wildcats travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State in the Gavitt Games. Villanova is 2-2 in the challenge, which pits Big East programs against teams in the Big 10. The Wildcats defeated Nebraska in 2015 and Purdue in 2016, but fell to Michigan in 2018 and Ohio State in 2019.

The Wildcats next head to a multi-team event, the PK85 Challenge, in Portland, Oregon over Thanksgiving break. Villanova will tip off on Thanksgiving Thursday and play on Friday, Nov. 25 as well before finishing the tournament on Sunday. Matchups will be released later this month, and Villanova will face three of Alabama, Michigan State, Iowa State, Oregon, Portland, UConn and 2022 national finalist North Carolina.

On Saturday, Dec. 3, Villanova plays its first Wells Fargo Center game of the season, taking on Oklahoma in the Big East – Big 12 Battle. Villanova has played three times in the event, defeating Kansas in 2019 in the Wildcats’ only home game to this point. In 2020 and 2021, Villanova traveled to Texas, defeating Texas in 2020 and losing to Baylor in 2021.

Wednesday, Dec. 7 brings a resumption of the Big 5, as Penn visits the Finneran Pavilion. A young Quaker team struggled in Big 5 competition last season, dropping all four contests, but went on to finish third in the Ivy League.

The Wildcats wrap up regular season neutral court play on Saturday, Dec. 10, playing Boston College at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The game will be part of the Never Forget Classic, an annual four-team doubleheader. Villanova has won its last four games at the Prudential Center, winning three straight away games at Seton Hall and defeating Delaware in the 2019 edition of the tournament.

Finally, Villanova finishes non-conference play with one final Big 5 matchup, facing St. Joseph’s in Hagan Arena on Saturday, Dec. 17. The rivalry, nicknamed the “Holy War,” has been largely one-sided in recent history, as the Wildcats have won nine straight and 15 of the last 17.

The full schedule is below:

Monday, Nov. 7                  vs. La Salle               Finneran Pavilion

Friday, Nov. 11                    at Temple                Philadelphia, Pa.

Monday, Nov. 14                vs. Delaware State  Finneran Pavilion

Friday, Nov. 18                    at Michigan State    East Lansing, Mich.

Thursday, Nov. 24               PK Invitational         Portland, Ore.

Friday, Nov. 25                    PK Invitational         Portland, Ore.

Sunday, Nov. 27                  PK Invitational         Portland, Ore.

Saturday, Dec. 3                  vs. Oklahoma          Wells Fargo Center

Wednesday, Dec. 7             vs. Penn                   Finneran Pavilion

Saturday, Dec. 10                vs. Boston College  Newark, N.J.

Saturday, Dec. 17                at Saint Joseph’s      Philadelphia, Pa.