Villanova fever is in full force heading into Final Four weekend. The strength of the Nova Nation has been felt throughout this year’s Final Four run. Thousands of alumni, students, parents and fans will be in San Antonio for the Final Four, as they were last weekend in Boston for the NCAA East Regional. Additionally, there are numerous alumni game watch events scheduled around the country, in addition to one in London. The City of Philadelphia will also be sharing in the Villanova excitement. Philadelphia will be lighting up the city in blue this weekend in support of the team. Below are some of the top storylines heading into this weekend’s Final Four.
Philadelphia Turning Blue for Villanova: Philadelphia will be lighting up the city in blue this weekend in support of the Villanova men’s basketball team, as the Wildcats get set to play in the 2018 NCAA Final Four. The Ben Franklin Bridge, Boathouse Row, One and Two Liberty Place, the Cira Centre, FMC Tower and Cira Centre South Garage will all be lit up in blue starting Saturday, March 31. Lincoln Financial Field and the Philadelphia Eagles will be turning the LED lights on the “solar wing” located on the South Side of Lincoln Financial Field (facing I-95) blue for Villanova. In addition, Philadelphia International Airport will be running good luck Villanova ads on hundreds of LED screens in all seven terminals.
Nova Nation Final Four Excitement: The strength of the Nova Nation has been felt throughout this year’s Final Four run. Villanova had thousands of alumni, students, parents, friends and fans in Boston for the NCAA Regional semifinals and finals, and will have a huge contingent of Villanova faithful in San Antonio for the Final Four. In addition, there have been Alumni Game Watch events scheduled throughout the country—with 50 Game Watch events for last weekend’s games (including one in London), and similar numbers expected for this weekend.
Easter in San Antonio: Villanova University will host an Easter Mass for alumni, parents and friends on Sunday, April 1, at 10:30 a.m., at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. Villanova President Father Peter Donohue is celebrating the Mass. The University is also hosting a Good Friday prayer service in San Antonio.
Texas Ties: There is a great deal of familiarity for Villanova in the state of Texas. For one, Villanova won the 2016 National Championship in Houston. The University also has a significant alumni presence in Texas. There are more than 2,200 Villanova alumni, parents and friends living in Texas. Lastly, more than 75 current students at the University hail from the state of Texas.
Success on the Court and In the Classroom: The Villanova Basketball team is outstanding not only on the court, but in the classroom as well. Villanova was one of only three teams in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament to have a perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) and 100% Graduation Success Rate (GSR): Bucknell and Davidson were the others. Villanova was the only Division I school to have both its men’s and women’s college basketball teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament with 100% GSR and perfect APR. The basketball program has had a team GPA above a 3.0 in five consecutive semesters and an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 100% in each of the last eight years. Junior guard Jalen Brunson was named the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year, marking only the second time a player has won both awards in the same season. Brunson also earned second team Capital One Academic All-American accolades.
Campus Game Watch Plans: With the University closed for the Easter Holiday from Friday, March 30 until Monday, April 2, there will not be a game watch event on campus for Saturday’s Final Four Game vs. Kansas. If Villanova wins and advances to the National Championship Game, there will be a campus Game Watch scheduled for Monday, April 2 at the Connelly Center. For media interested in getting information about Alumni Game Watch events on Saturday night near Villanova, or in Philadelphia, here are several options:
- Field House, 1150 Filbert St, Philadelphia, Pa.
- Fox & Hound, 160 N Gulph Rd Suite 211, King of Prussia, Pa.
- Kelly's, 1107 E Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr, Pa.
*Note: For more information, please visit the Let’s March Nova website.