Sunday, May 12, 2013

Villanova, Syracuse announce home and home hoops series

VILLANOVA, Pa. –Villanova University and Syracuse University have announced a home-and-home men’s basketball series that will feature a game in Philadelphia and a contest in the Carrier Dome over the next two seasons.

Syracuse will play Villanova in the Carrier Dome on December 28, 2013. The Wildcats will host the Orange at the Wells Fargo Center the following year.

“We are excited to announce the continuation of the Villanova-Syracuse rivalry,” stated Villanova Director of Athletics Vince Nicastro. “Our annual games against Syracuse were an integral part of our basketball schedule over the past 30 plus years, and included some of the greatest college basketball experiences in the nation.  We are thrilled to be able to continue that for the next two years.”

“The Villanova rivalry has given us some of our best moments,” added Dr. Daryl Gross, Director of Athletics at Syracuse. “It has traditionally been one of the top matchups in college basketball and we look forward to continuing the series.”

Syracuse and Villanova first met on the hardwood during the 1945-46 season. The two programs have played 70 times overall and Syracuse owns a narrow 38-32 advantage in the series. The Orange rank in a seventh place tie with Saint Joseph’s on the list of most familiar Wildcat opponents.

The two teams split games in 2012-13. The Orange won at home on January 12, 72-61, and Villanova earned a 75-71 triumph in overtime on January 26.

Syracuse was one of the original members of The BIG EAST Conference that first competed in the 1979-80 campaign. Villanova joined in the second year. All but four of the 70 contests played between Syracuse and Villanova came while the programs were affiliated with The BIG EAST. The Orange will officially move to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) on July 1, 2013.

“Syracuse-Villanova games have been a great tradition and a big part of Big East basketball,” stated VU Coach Jay Wright. “When the Wildcats and Orange have met at the Carrier Dome and Wells Fargo Center, the environments have been two of the best in college basketball.”

"The series with Villanova has been one of our most competitive, year in and year out,” remarked Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim. “It really took off when Coach (Rollie) Massimino was in charge and has certainly continued with Coach (Jay) Wright at Villanova.”

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