Villanova to play Kansas twice

Northern Iowa Villanova Basketball
Villanova coach Jay Wright, here coaching Friday in the Bahamas, welcomes the two-game series against Kansas.

Villanova and Kansas have played six times. Five of those games were in the last 13 years. The most recent, of course, was the 2016 Elite Eight matchup that the Wildcats won, 64-59, in Louisville on their way to that national championship.

The two national programs have agreed to a two-game series for next season and 2019-20.

Villanova will go to Allen Field House first, with the rematch scheduled for the Wells Fargo Center. The dates are Dec. 15, 2018 in Lawrence, and Dec. 21 a year later in South Philly.

“The games … have been some of the most memorable non-conference games in our time here,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a release. “Every time we have faced Kansas, it has made our team better. And we know that will be the case when we meet again.”

No debate there.

Villanova also beat the Jayhawks in 2013 at the Battle 4 Atlantis (63-59) and in 2005 in Philly (83-62). Both wins represented important steps for the program at the time. Kansas won in the 2008 Sweet 16 in Detroit (72-57) and in 2004 at home (86-79).

Brunson honored

Jalen Brunson has been named the Big East Player of the Week. The junior guard won the MVP award as the Wildcats were winning the Battle 4 Atlantis title in the Bahamas. In three games, he averaged 19.7 points and 4 assists. In the final against Northern Iowa, he had 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting to go with four rebounds and as many assists.