The excitement of the Nova Nation has been felt throughout this year’s NCAA Tournament run by the Villanova Men’s Basketball team. On Saturday night, Villanova defeated Kansas to advance to its second National Championship Game in three seasons. Thousands of alumni, students, parents and fans are in San Antonio for the Final Four. Additionally, numerous alumni game watch events have been scheduled around the country, in addition to one in London. The City of Philadelphia is also sharing in the Villanova excitement. Philadelphia lit up the city in blue Saturday night and will be doing so again Monday night in support of the team. Below are some of the top storylines heading into Monday’s National Championship Game.
Student Game Watch Plans: Villanova will host a Student Game Watch event at Connelly Center for Monday night’s National Championship Game. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:20 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on TBS, with a Villanova TeamCast on TruTV (Play-by-Play: Scott Graham; Analyst: Villanova alumnus and 2016 All-American Randy Foye; Reporter: Villanova alumna and NESN sports reporter Kacie McDonnell). There are also numerous Alumni Game Watch events near Villanova, in Philadelphia and across the country. For more information, please visit the Let’s March Nova website.
Philadelphia Turning Blue for Villanova: Philadelphia will again be lighting up the city in blue Monday night in support of the Villanova men’s basketball team, as the Wildcats get set to play Michigan for the 2018 NCAA National Championship. 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. 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 NCAA Tournament run. Thousands of alumni, students, parents and fans are in San Antonio for the Final Four. Additionally, numerous alumni game watch events have been scheduled around the country, in addition to one in London.
Easter in San Antonio: Villanova University held an Easter Mass for alumni, parents and friends on Sunday, April 1, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. Villanova President Father Peter Donohue celebrated the Mass, which brought a crowd of more than 3,300. Check out some of the news coverage of Sunday's Easter Mass 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.
Nova Making National Headlines: Villanova has been all over the news headlines and not just for wins on the basketball court. The success of its student-athletes in the classroom, the unique culture of its men's basketball program, and its Augustinian Catholic mission have also been highlighted.
- Why Catholic Colleges Excel at Basketball, The New York Times
- You Know Sister Jean. Meet Father Rob., The New York Times
- Villanova and Loyola reaching Final Four brings to light Catholic embrace of basketball, USA Today
- Villanova athletes score well on and off the court, Philadelphia Inquirer
Men's Basketball News and Notes: For all the latest Villanova Men’s Basketball team information, click here.