Villanova and Virginia, the two most recent NCAA champs, to meet at MSG | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / July 6.
  • Villanova and Virginia, the two most recent NCAA champs, to meet at MSG

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    The two most recent NCAA national men’s basketball champions are set to meet in 2020-21 in New York City.

    2018 title winner Villanova will meet 2019 champion Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 19 at Madison Square Garden.

    “We are always excited to play Virginia,” said Wildcats’ head coach Jay Wright. “We have great respect for Tony Bennett, his program and the University of Virginia. It’s a pure thrill for all of us to get to play this matchup at Madison Square Garden.”

    The programs most recently split a two-game series in 2015-17, with each team winning on its home floor. On Dec. 19, 2015, the Cavaliers pulled away in the final minutes in Charlottesville, Va., to post an 86-75 win over a Wildcats’ team that would go on to claim the 2016 NCAA national championship. On Jan. 29, 2017, Villanova made key plays in the final minute, capped by a Donte DiVincenzo tip-in at the buzzer, to help the ‘Cats down Virginia 61-59 before a sold-out crowd at Wells Fargo Center.

    “We are thrilled that two of the top college basketball programs in America are squaring off at Madison Square Garden this winter,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Marquee Events/Operations.  “Villanova and Virginia have won three of the last four NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships, so this will be a treat for New York area fans and a highlight of The Garden’s college basketball schedule next season.”

    Virginia holds a 5-3 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools, which began in the 1981 NCAA Tournament in Charlotte, N.C.

    Villanova posted a 24-7 overall record in 2019-20 and earned a share of the BIG EAST regular season title before the season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Information on how to purchase tickets, game time, and television details will be released at a later date.

    (Release via Villanova)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.