Villanova to resume basketball series with Connecticut next season

Wildcats coach Jay Wright calls Villanova-UConn a “great tradition.”

When Connecticut was still in the Big East, the Huskies played Villanova 59 times between 1981-2013. The Wildcats won 31 of those games. The last time they met was in the second round of the 2014 when UConn, which had become a member of the American Athletic Conference for football reasons, beat them 77-65 en route to an unexpected run to a national championship.

On Thursday the schools announced that the rivalry will resume starting in the 2017-18 season.

“This series honors the great tradition of Villanova and Connecticut basketball,” said Wildcats coach Jay Wright. “Facing UConn was always a challenge for us, and it will be again.”

The first game will be Jan. 20, 2018 at the XL Center in Hartford. Next is a meeting at Madison Square Garden, site of the Big East tournament each March, on Dec. 22, 2018. And on Jan. 18, 2020, the Huskies will visit the Wells Fargo Center.

“We’ve had so many memorable games against Villanova over the years,” said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. “Coach Wright obviously has one of the best programs in the country … Our fans will be excited.”

As will the ones who call the Main Line home.

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