- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The men’s basketball game between No. 7 Villanova and No. 17 Virginia scheduled for Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York has been canceled.

It was supposed to be a matchup of the past two NCAA champions — and the first college basketball game at The Garden since the Big East Tournament was stopped in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Virginia, the 2019 national champion, has had four straight games called off and hasn’t played since Dec. 4.

“We’ve worked closely with Virginia on this,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “Both schools tried to make this game happen. Due to COVID-19 issues, we will not be able to play.”

Wright said potential replacement games at MSG fell through and Villanova could play a home game instead on Saturday.



The Wildcats beat Butler 85-66 on Wednesday night, improving to 6-1. Collin Gillespie and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl each scored 18 points for Villanova as Wright won his 600th career game.

Wright (600-268) was already Villanova’s winningest coach and he became the 39th coach in Division I history to reach 600 wins. Wright is 478-183 since he was hired in 2001 and he has built the Wildcats into one of the elite programs in college basketball. Wright won national championships in 2016 and 2018 and again has the preseason favorite to win the Big East — a team expected to contend for another national title.

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