There's always a bit of drama involved with the Big East's announcement of conference schedules, because everyone wants to know which teams their school will play twice.
The matchups came out today, and Villanova's home-and-away opponents will be Georgetown, West Virginia and Marquette.
It is, among other things, an early barometer of which teams will be the best next season. And if that's so, it looks like the Wildcats are going to be up there at the top, because this might just be the toughest schedule in the conference.
Georgetown will have center Greg Monroe and guards Austin Freeman and Chris Wright back, while West Virginia will be a force again with Joe Mazzulla, Alex Ruoff and Da'Sean Butler. Marquette will have Lazar Heyward (still!) and a highly-ranked freshman class that includes 6-foot-10 forward Brett Roseboro of Quakertown, Pa.
Games between top teams also make for good television, of course. I'm not saying that ESPN and CBS pick the matchups, but you know they have an interest in this.
It's worth noting Villanova's game against Geeorgetown in D.C. will be their second trip to the Verizon Center of the season. They'll face Maryland in the BB&T Classic on December 6.
We don't know the dates of Villanova's conference games yet, but I'm hoping to get to Washington for both of the Wildcats' trips there. The first of them will be made easier by the fact that the Army-Navy game got pushed a week later this year, from the first Saturday in December to the second.
The full rundown of Big East games this season can be found at the conference's official website. Among the juiciest home-and-away matchups are Louisville-Connecticut, Georgetown-Syracuse and West Virginia-Pittsburgh. Interestingly, Syracuse and Connecticut will only meet once.
As I said above, I think Villanova has the conference's toughest schedule. Take a look at the release and tell me whether you agree.