Purdue to play reigning national champions Villanova in November

Villanova players celebrates after Kris Jenkins, center, scores a game winning three point basket in the closing seconds of NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –- Pieces of the 2016-17 Purdue men’s basketball schedule are coming together as it was announced today that Purdue will host defending national champion Villanova in the second annual Gavitt Games in Mackey Arena.

The game is slated to be the second game of the season for the Boilermakers on Monday, Nov. 14. TV designations and time will be announced at a later date. It is the lone Gavitt Games contest to be played that night.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games is a unique early-season series played between the two conferences and named in honor of Dave Gavitt, founder of the BIG EAST and basketball visionary. The BIG EAST home games will be telecast on FS1, while Big Ten home games will air on BTN or an ESPN network.

Scheduled through 2022, the Gavitt Tipoff Games will be played on consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball season. The series will span eight years, with games played at home sites. Each BIG EAST team will participate a minimum of six times, while Big Ten programs will take part a minimum of four times. Teams from both conferences already meet in some traditional rivalry games, and those matchups will continue in the upcoming seasons.

Purdue was not a part of last year’s event.

“We are looking forward to competing in our first Gavitt Games appearance and are excited to draw defending National Champion Villanova at Mackey Arena,” head coach Matt Painter said. “They are obviously coming off a great season and this game will be a great barometer for us and where we stand early in the season.”

Villanova leads the all-time series with the Boilermakers by a 2-0 margin, including an 89-81 overtime win in the 2KSports Classic at the start of the 2012-13 season in Madison Square Garden. The other meeting came in December 1995, a 67-50 Villanova win in Anaheim, California, as part of the John Wooden Classic.

The Wildcats are coming off a year that saw them win the NCAA National Championship, post a 35-5 record and win the Big East conference title. The Wildcats return several members from that squad, including Final Four hero Kris Jenkins, All-American Josh Hart and point guard Jalen Brunson. The Wildcats are expected to be ranked in the nation’s top five in next year’s preseason polls.

The 2016-17 schedule now features The Gavitt Games (Villanova), Jimmy V Classic in New York City (Arizona State) and the Cancun Challenge (Texas Tech, Auburn, Utah State). In addition, Purdue will take a 10-day trip to Spain in mid-August.

Purdue is coming off a 26-9 season and was one of 10 teams nationally to be ranked in the nation’s top 25 all season. The Boilermakers finished tied for third in the Big Ten Conference with a 12-6 record.

The other scheduled Gavitt Games for the 2016-17 season are Maryland at Georgetown, Wisconsin at Creighton, Northwestern at Butler, Seton Hall at Iowa, Providence at Ohio State, Rutgers at DePaul and St. John’s at Minnesota.

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