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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies set to play No. 3 Villanova on Saturday

Villanova replaces Temple on the schedule.

Villanova v Xavier Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Virginia Tech Hokies were set to play the Temple Owls on Saturday in the Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

However, a recent outbreak of COVID-19 at Temple forced the Owls to have to cancel the game, leaving Virginia Tech without an opponent for the event.

Enter Villanova.

One of the top basketball programs in the country, Villanova was also looking for an opponent. The Wildcats opened their 2020-21 season on Wednesday at the Mohegan Sun.

The Mohegan Sun is the site of “Bubbleville” where over 30 teams are already in town from the period of Nov. 25 - Dec. 5, and at least 40 games were expected to be played during this time.

Villanova was scheduled to face cross-town rival Temple on Dec. 3, and that game was canceled, too.

Villanova had already played two games at the Mohegan Sun and did not have another game scheduled. Due to the cancellation of the Temple game, the Wildcats were willing to stick around and find another opponent.

Enter the Hokies.

These two teams don’t have a rich history on the hardwood, having only met nine times with the Wildcats winning nine of those meetings while the Hokies were a part of the Big East Conference.

That last meeting occurred back in 2004.

The Temple/Virginia Tech game was set to be aired on ESPNEWS at 8 p.m. ET. The Hokies game with Villanova will now move into the same television spot on Saturday.

For Virginia Tech fans, this game is much more exciting than the Temple contest. You have a legit national power coached by one of college basketball’s top coaches in Jay Wright, that has won two national championships in the last five years.

This also gives Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young a chance to measure his young team against one of the best.

This is a win for all parties involved. Credit should go to both Villanova and Virginia Tech for taking on this game on such short notice.