Canisius which has not faced Villanova in men's basketball since 1994, will take on the defending NCAA champion Wildcats in the first game of the 13th annual AdvoCare Invitational on Nov. 22 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Last time Canisus played a defending national champion was the 2003-04 season when the Griffs lost to Syracuse, 87-70, in the Carrier Dome.
The Thanksgiving Night matchup with Villanova will be the 30th meeting between the Griffs and the Wildcats. The last meeting was a first-round game of NIT on March 17, 1994 in Philadelphia.
Coach Reggie Witherspoon's Golden Griffins will be see a Villanova team with a decidedly different look than the one that defeated former Canisius coach John Bielein and the Michigan Wolverines, 79-67, for the championship last April.
Four players who accounted for 67 of the 79 Villanova points in the championship game are gone. All selected in the NBA Draft last month including Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Omari Spellman and Jalen Brunson.
Returning from that team are fifth-year seniors Phil Booth, and 6-5 guard, and 6-9 forward Erie Paschall. However, coach Jay Wright has a talented group or incoming recruits including Jahvon Quinely, a 6-1 guard from Hudson Catholic in New Jersey, Brandon Slater a 6-6 forward from Fairfax, Va.,Cole Swider, an outside shooting 6-8 forward from St. Andrew's School in Rhode Island and Saddiq Bey, a late signee, from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., who was headed to North Carolina State until he changed his mind.
Canisius will play either Memphis or Oklahoma State in its bracket on Friday and meet College of Charleston, Florida State, LSU or UAB to close the tournament on Sunday, Nov. 25.
Canisius is coming off a 21-12 season which included a 15-3 record and a share of first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
A-10 women's matchups set
St. Bonaventure will face Duquesne, La Salle and VCU home-and-home in the 2018-19 women's basketball schedule announced Wednesday by the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Bonnies will play single games against the 10 other 10 A-10 teams. Dayton, Fordham, George Mason, Rhode Island and Saint Louis will be met only at the Reilly Center in regular season games. Davidson, George Washington, Massachusetts, Richmond and Saint Joseph's will be the conference road opponents.