Big East Conference releases men’s basketball schedule



Larry Flynn

The Big East Conference announced its men’s basketball schedule on Tuesday, putting the finishing touches on Villanova’s upcoming schedule for the 2015-16 season.

There were no surprises in the Wildcats’ Big East schedule – ‘Nova will play each team in the conference twice, once at home and once on the road. 

Villanova opens its 2015-16 conference schedule against Xavier, the final Big East opponent the Wildcats played in the 2014-15 season. Villanova defeated Xavier, capturing the Big East Tournament title.

The beginning of the Wildcats’ conference schedule shouldn’t be too difficult, although many of their early opponents are wild-cards. Xavier, Creighton, and Seton Hall are loaded with young talent, but it remains to be seen if these teams can translate the talent into wins. 

The Wildcats travel to enemy territory to take on the Hoyas in D.C. After an embarrasing performance last season at Georgetown, Villanova will be seeking revenge. The national media know this will be an important rivalry game; it’ll be aired on CBS.

Just a week later, ‘Nova will get to take on potential lottery pick Kris Dunn and the Providence Friars, their first game at the Wells Fargo Center this season. The Friars are planning on running an up-tempo attack and should be one of the top teams in the conference. 

The Wildcats also play St. John’s at the Wells Fargo Center. After hiring Chris Mullin but losing superstars Rysheed Jordan and Chris Obekpa, the Red Storm are likely to be in a rebuilding phase this upcoming season.

The final game at the Wells Fargo Center this year will be against Georgetown. Before their final match against the Hoyas, the Wildcats will have to travel to Marquette to face off against one of the most well-coached teams in the conference. 

Steve Wojciechowski’s Golden Eagles are loaded with talent, including top recruit Henry Ellenson, and could make their way into the upper tier of the conference.

The Wildcats will also take on the steady Butler Bulldogs twice. Last season, Darrun Hilliard hit a game-winning three-pointer to defeat Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Two years ago, ‘Nova-Butler went into overtime on New Year’s Eve. This matchup could produce another classic finish this season.

The team also announced its out-of-conference schedule with official dates and times. 

As previously announced, the Wildcats will be taking on some talented national opponents this year. Most notably, Villanova will travel south to take on Virginia in the first of their upcoming home-away series. Virginia’s defense has been among the stingiest in the country for years and should be no different this season.

The Wildcats will also face off against Oklahoma, one of the best teams in the Big 12. With Buddy Hield at the helm, the Sooners will be a formidable early-season opponent for Villanova.

More non-conference opponents include Stanford, Nebraska, and Arkansas. 

None of these teams should pose much of a threat, especially with Bobby Portis declaring for the draft this summer and leaving Arkansas.

For the complete schedule, visit

Ultimately, there’s no reason why the Wildcats can’t, once again, dominate the Big East and most of college basketball. The Big East should be just as competitive as it was last season, while Villanova’s non-conference schedule should be stronger than it was last season. 

With an increasingly young core emerging, this should be an exciting season for the Wildcats.