Syracuse basketball and Cole Swider vs. Villanova at MSG – yes, please!

Cole Swider, Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Cole Swider, Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball and former Big East Conference rival Villanova are planning to battle one another this upcoming season in New York City, according to a report, which means that new Orange commit Cole Swider will have an opportunity to compete against his former team.

CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein sent out a tweet that, per his sources, the ‘Cuse and the Wildcats will play in the 2021 Jimmy V Classic at the famed Madison Square Garden. According to Rothstein, a second game in this event is presently to be determined.

What a fabulous encounter for Syracuse basketball in its 2021-22 campaign. Not only is Villanova a former long-time Big East foe of the Orange, but the Wildcats are also expected to field an excellent squad next season.

Villanova’s stellar senior point guard, Collin Gillespie, recently announced that he would come back to the Wildcats for a fifth term. Based on the Gillespie news and other recent roster developments for Villanova, the Wildcats are pegged as a pre-season top-10 group heading into 2021-22, according to a range of national analysts and journalists.

Syracuse basketball commit Cole Swider will face off with his former team.

The 6-foot-9 Swider, a junior forward who shoots quite well from beyond the arc, recently elected to transfer from Villanova to the Orange.

The ‘Cuse recruited Swider out of high school, but he ultimately chose the Wildcats over Syracuse basketball and a few other finalists. Now Swider is in Central New York, with an opportunity to knock off Villanova. How fun!

In recent years, the Wildcats have proven one of the top units in the sport. Led by its outstanding head coach, Jay Wright, Villanova captured national championships in 2016 and 2018.

The Orange, by the way, also made the 2016 Final Four, where it lost to fellow Atlantic Coast Conference member North Carolina in the national semi-finals. The Tar Heels would then fall in the title game to the Wildcats on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Kris Jenkins.

Per, Syracuse basketball holds an all-time advantage against Villanova of 39-33. These two adversaries last competed on Dec. 20, 2014, when the Wildcats prevailed at home, 82-77, in overtime.

Given the Swider angle and the history between the two squads, this is a tantalizing duel for the ‘Cuse in the upcoming term.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Analysts tout Kamari Lands scoring, defensive agility. dark