Center City Parade Commemorates National Champions

National Champions
The National Champion Wildcats wave to the crowd as the team bus approaches City Hall (Villanova Athletics Photo).

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats came back to Philadelphia Friday to celebrate with the Nova Nation and area fans after winning the NCAA national championship Monday night with a 77-74 victory over North Carolina in Houston.

A throng of more than 60,000 crowded a five block route down Market Street to City Hall. In a rally at Dilworth Plaza Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney led the contingent honoring the Wildcats.

Villanova student-athletes and coaches were on double-decker busses for the ride through downtown.

"We were supposed to make a stop at 17th street," stated Wildcats head coach Jay Wright, "but they told us the crowds were too big. What an amazing day. We're so grateful to the City of Philadelphia and the Nova Nation for this reception."

Villanova completed the season with a school record 35 victories and only five losses. This is the program's second NCAA title, matching the accomplishment of the storied 1985 squad which upended Georgetown 66-64 in Lexington on April 1, 1985.