The biggest game of the year for 2019-20 Purdue Men’s Basketball is now set. Virginia is coming to Mackey for a Rematch:
2019 Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchups pic.twitter.com/yDCGvfuu1m— Anna Negron (@ItsAnnaNegron) June 6, 2019
Purdue-Virginia was one of the best games if not THE best game of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, and there was a lot of mutual respect between the school. Virginia, of course, went on to win its first National Championship, while Purdue came as close as you can to a Final Four without actually going.
Several of the main characters from that classic in march will be missing. Ryan Cline, Carsen Edwards, and Grady Eifert will be gone for Purdue. Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, and Mamadi Diakite all declared for the NBA Draft from Virginia. Diakite recently announced he would be returning, however. It is still going to be a heck of a game as the Cavaliers have been one of the best programs in college basketball recently.
Beating the Cavaliers won’t fix what happened in March, but it would be a HUGE boost to the 2019-20 season as it would be a massive quality out of conference win. It is also going to be a great atmosphere in Mackey, much like when defending champion Villanova came to town in 2016-17. It will also mark the third time in four season Purdue has played the defending National Champions.
This completes a really strong non-conference schedule that sees the reigning NIT champs (Texas) and NCAA champs (Virginia) come to Mackey Arena. Purdue also goes to Marquette, hosts CIT runner-up Green Bay, plays Butler in Indianapolis in the Crossroads Classic, and is in the Emerald Coast Classic with Florida State, Tennessee, and VCU. Purdue could play as any as six high major teams depending on how the Emerald Coast Classic draw goes.
So let’s welcome the Champs with the same respect we welcomed Villanova in 2016-17, as Jay Wright was blown away by the atmosphere and respect for Mackey Arena.
Oh, and let’s keep the home win streak alive too, because we are 63-3 there the last four years.