The fate of the rivalry between Syracuse and Georgetown remains uncertain as a result of the Big East's breakup, but the ACC-bound Orange will still be playing several former league foes the next few years.
In February, Syracuse announced a home-and-home series with in-state rival St. John's featuring a game at Madison Square Garden next December and the return matchup at the Carrier Dome the following season. And on Monday, the Syracuse-themed site, The Juice, reported the Orange have also agreed to a three-year series with Villanova.
Syracuse will host Villanova at the Carrier Dome during the upcoming season and will visit Villanova for a return game the following season. Then, the two longtime Big East rivals will meet at Madison Square Garden in a neutral-court matchup during the 2015-16 season.
Extending the series seems like a shrewd decision by both parties.
For Villanova, it's the chance to sustain a historic rivalry against an elite opponent, one that will also provide a neutral-court game in a city that's an alumni hotbed and at an arena that will host the new Big East tournament. For Syracuse, it's the opportunity to keep a longtime rivalry going and to maintain a recruiting presence in Philadelphia, the city that produced recent stars Dion Waiters and Scoop Jardine and current big man Rakeem Christmas.
The only concern about adding Villanova and St. John's to Syracuse's non-conference schedule the next couple years is that spots are filling up fast. Throw in a mandatory ACC-Big Ten Challenge game and Jim Boeheim's notorious reluctance to leave the New York area too often during non-league play, and it's natural to wonder if there will be room for an annual game against Georgetown anytime soon.
Hopefully the series between the Orange and Hoyas doesn't go into longterm hiatus. Syracuse-Villanova and Syracuse-St. John's are great matchups worth preserving, but Syracuse-Georgetown is still the rivalry college basketball most needs to continue.