Purdue hosts defending national champion Villanova Monday

Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports
Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The No. 15 Purdue men’s basketball team hosts a non-conference, defending national champion for the first time in almost 50 years as No. 4-ranked Villanova visits Monday for a Gavitt Tipoff Games showdown.

Purdue is coming off its 11th win in 12 season openers under Matt Painter with a 109-65 win over McNeese State on Friday. Caleb Swanigan had a monster game with 23 points, 20 rebounds and 6 assists, while Isaac Haas added 22 points. Four players scored 18 or more points for the first time since the Jan. 5, 1978. It was Purdue’s third straight season-opening win by at least 40 points and the 109 points were the third most in an opener in school history.

The competition ramps up Monday night as Villanova is just the second, non-conference defending national champion to visit Mackey Arena, with the first being a Lew Alcindor-led UCLA team in the arena’s very first game on Dec. 2, 1967. It will also mark just the sixth non-conference team to visit Mackey Arena when ranked in the nation’s top five and the first since No. 4-ranked Duke on Dec. 2, 2008.

Purdue owns a 12-13 all-time record against defending national champions, but is 9-3 over its last 12 games since the 1976-77 season.

Purdue has lost just one home game during the month of November under head coach Matt Painter, coming Nov. 9, 2012, to Bucknell (70-65), posting a 38-1 record.