Syracuse basketball will face Villanova in the 2021 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, Jon Rothstein reported on Thursday. Official dates have not been decided yet, according to the report, but the game is expected to take place in early December. There will be a second game as part of the event, but the teams have yet to be decided.
Syracuse and Villanova have met 72 times in their history, with the Orange owning a 39-33 series advantage. The last game was in 2014, when Syracuse fell 82-77 in overtime at Villanova. The last game in the Dome was in 2013 when Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis each scored over 20 points as the Orange topped the Wildcats 78-62. Syracuse has not beaten Villanova on a neutral court under Jay Wright, with the Wildcats winning both Big East Tournament games by double digits.
The first meeting between the two schools was in 1946. Syracuse won that matchup 44-33. The two regional rivals battled annually as members of the Big East, with many of college basketball’s all-time greats participating in the rivalry.
Adding another layer to the 2021 matchup is transfer Cole Swider. Swider left Villanova after this past season and picked Syracuse as his transfer destination. Now he will face his former team as a member of his new team.
Syracuse finished the 2020-21 season with a run to the Sweet-16 before falling to Houston.