Michigan to face Villanova in rematch of title game
Written by Matt Pargoff   

The Wolverines’ final opponent of the 2017-18 season will be one of their first to start the next year. The Big Ten and Big East announced their schedule for Gavitt Tipoff Games on Tuesday, revealing a rematch of the national championship game between Michigan and Villanova.

The Wolverines will play at Villanova on Nov. 14 at a time to be determined, marking the third meeting between the two programs.

“Returning to the Gavitt Games is an exciting early season opportunity for us, our fans and really all of college basketball," said head coach John Beilein in a released statement. “When you are able to have a rematch of the previous season's national title game, I think that is good for the sport, despite how different the makeup of the two teams may be.

“Jay's program continues to be one of the premiere teams in the country and to face the defending national champions will not only make for a great college basketball environment, but a good opportunity to compete at the highest level right out of the gate.”

Michigan fell to the Wildcats 79-62 in the title game in San Antonio on April 2.

From last year’s Villanova team, four players have declared early for the NBA Draft, with Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson hiring agents. Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman have not hired agents, giving them the option to potentially return, depending where they feel they will land in the draft.

DiVincenzo had a spectacular game against Michigan off the bench, scoring 31 points, while the other three were all starters. Villanova also loses three seniors, but they were not major contributors.

The Wolverines will enter the rematch a much different team as well, replacing Moritz Wagner, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Duncan Robinson, Jaaron Simmons and Ibi Watson. Charles Matthews’ status is still not known as well after he declared for the draft without hiring an agent.

2018 Gavitt Tipoff Games Schedule

Tuesday, Nov. 13

Wisconsin at Xavier

Georgetown at Illinois

Wednesday, Nov. 14

Michigan at Villanova

Seton Hall at Nebraska

Marquette at Indiana

Thursday, Nov. 15

Penn State at DePaul

Ohio State at Creighton

Friday, Nov. 16

St. John's at Rutgers


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