DePaul adds No. 5 Louisville to 2020-21 schedule

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Eric Henry/The DePaulia

DePaul junior Sonya Morris smiles at fellow teammate senior Deja Church during the Blue Demons’ game against Texas A&M on Saturday.

The 2020-21 college basketball season has already brought major chaos and disruption when it comes to scheduling games. Every day there are games being canceled because of positive Covid-19 tests, and there also new games being added on a seemingly hourly basis. 

DePaul has now postponed its Big East opener against Villanova on Friday, and instead will play No. 5 Louisville in the Women’s Jimmy V Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn, the athletic department announced Monday night. The game will be televised on ESPN. 

The Blue Demons were scheduled to travel to face Villanova this upcoming Friday, but an opportunity opened up for them to face one of the best teams in the country. DePaul has also canceled its game against Kent State on Dec. 9, per release. 

“ESPN Events has added DePaul to the Women’s Jimmy V Classic Presented by Corona Extra,” ESPN’s statement read. “The No. 20 Blue Demons will face No. 5 Louisville on Friday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. DePaul replaces No. 3 UConn, who withdrew due to health protocols.”

The Blue Demons and the Cardinals have a long history playing each other in big games, with the most recent game coming in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. DePaul defeated Louisville 73-72 in the second round, giving the Blue Demons a 16-15 lead in the all-time series. 

Both teams also used to play each other in the Big East before the conference went through realignment in 2013 with the Cardinals moving to the ACC. 

“We want to thank and acknowledge the cooperation from the Big East and Villanova allowing us to adjust our schedule at the 11th hour,” DePaul head coach Doug Bruno said in a statement. “DePaul has a long history playing Louisville in Conference USA, winning some games and losing some.

“Actually, they had four nonconference games lost to COVID-19, and I was working with their coach Jeff Walz to fit them into our schedule if an opening developed. We try to play one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the country every year, and this is a great opportunity for our players to face one of the nation’s best.”

DePaul has already faced one top-25 team in No. 13 Texas A&M on Saturday. The Blue Demons could not come away with the victory, losing 93-91 in their season opener. But Bruno’s team responded with a commanding 128-66 win over Chicago State on Monday. 

Following the game against the Cardinals on Friday, DePaul is scheduled to begin Big East play on Sunday by hosting Xavier.