Villanova to start Big East season Jan. 2 at home

Villanova will begin its 2012-13 Big East season on Jan. 2 at home against St. John’s, the conference announced Wednesday.

The Wildcats, who are coming off a 13-19 record last season that included a 5-13 mark in the league, go on the road in the Big East for the first time in their next game, Jan. 9 at South Florida.

South Florida is one of the three teams – Syracuse and Providence are the others – that Villanova will play twice under the Big East’s 18-game format.

The Wildcats travel to Syracuse, one of the pre-season favorites to win the conference in what will be its final season in the Big East, on Jan. 12 and meet the Orange at home on Jan. 26 in an unusual 11 a.m. start.

Louisville, a 2012 Final Four team which is also a pre-season favorite for the conference crown, visits Villanova on Jan. 22.

The Wildcats will close their season on a weekday, wrapping up the regular schedule on Wednesday, March 6 at home against Georgetown. The Big East tournament begins on March 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Villanova opens its regular season on Nov. 9 at the Pavilion against the University of the District of Columbia in the first round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Wildcats have yet to release their full schedule, including games they will be playing at the Wells Fargo Center.

--Joe Juliano