The last time UConn and Villanova played men’s basketball, Shabazz Napier overcame early foul trouble to score 21 points in the second half en route to a 77-65 win in the Round of 32 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Napier and the Huskies went on the win four more games and the program’s fourth national championship. Since then, Villanova grabbed its second championship in 2016.
On Jan. 20, 2018, the two teams will meet again when UConn hosts the Wildcats at the XL Center in a welcome renewal of an old Big East rivalry, according to Jon Rothstein. Since the dissolution of the original Big East, UConn has scheduled games with Syracuse and Georgetown in addition to Villanova.
It will be the first regular season battle between the two since Feb. 16, 2013, when Villanova dropped the Huskies 70-61 in their final game as conference foes. UConn is 31-33 all-time against the Wildcats in a series dating back to 1941.
Villanova dominated the early part of the Big East portion of the series, winning 19 of the first 21 conference clashes from 1981-1989, including winning as many as 14 straight games.
The 1990s saw the Huskies turn over a new leaf as they took 13 of 18 games played in the decade and have won 14 of the 21 played in the new millennium. The two teams have also split the 18 games played at the arena in Hartford.
Villanova went 32-4 last season, sweeping the Big East regular season and tournament championships before losing to Wisconsin in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are expected to be a formidable team once again this season.
Villanova headlines a non-conference schedule which includes Arizona, Oregon and two others from the PK80 Tournament begin held over Thanksgiving.
The Huskies will also play the Wildcats at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 22, 2018 and in Philadelphia on Jan. 18, 2020.