EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – The Mount St. Mary’s 2021-2022 men’s basketball schedule was released on Tuesday which features notable matchups against a power five program in the University of Kentucky, and the 2018 NCAA Champion, Villanova.

“Coming off a championship season, we are looking to elevate our program and get back to the NCAA Tournament,” said Mount head coach, Dan Engelstad. “Playing Villanova, Kentucky and Ohio University, a Sweet 16 team last season, and other strong programs will test us to see where we stand early in the season.”

Villanova will be the season opener for Mount St. Mary’s on November 9th in Philadelphia. It will be the first meeting between the two programs since the First Round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament in Buffalo, N.Y; a 76-56 win for the Wildcats.

The defending NEC Champions will open up at home on Thursday, November 11, against Washington College, on which day the championship banner will be unveiled.

The “Catholic Clash” is also back this season between the Mountaineers and the Loyola University Greyhounds in Baltimore on December 4th; a longtime rivalry in which the Mount holds a 100-75 series advantage.

  “Our region has quality basketball and playing traditional local rivals in Loyola, Navy, UMBC, American along with Howard and Morgan State allows us to play strong local competition.”

The Mount will begin conference play the final weekend of December with a pair of home games against Fairleigh Dickinson (Dec. 29) and Wagner (Dec. 31), before heading on a four-game road trip in the new year; a trip that includes a rematch of this year’s championship game at Bryant on January 15.

“The NEC is as competitive from top-to-bottom that I can recall and every conference game will be hard-fought,” said Engelstad.  “The league returns a ton of talent and the caliber of play and competition will be on display every night.”

“Overall, this schedule will challenge us and give us great opportunities to play some of the elite teams in the country while also playing six non-conference home games at Knott Arena in front of one of the best mid-major crowds in the country.”