Who is Jay Wright? If you ask many in the greater Philadelphia area, you would more than likely hear the same response: He saved Villanova basketball! Rollie had a great run in the 80's, but it was short lived. Since the glorious, magical season of 1985, Villanova basketball has been a series of ups and downs, mostly downs. From phone card scandals to coaching changes, Villanova has finally found what they needed, a coach with vision who brings discipline to back his philosophy.
Monday night's monumental victory over #1 ranked UCONN gave the Nova Nation something to talk about. Now Jay Wright is reaping the benefits, recently inking a 7-year extension to continue on as the Wildcats leader. Can you ever remember being so excited about a Big 5 basketball team? Sure, St.
Joe's had a memorable season just two short years ago, taking the city on a March Madness ride that lasted much longer then most expected. However, this Villanova team has people whispering "national championship." Are you serious? As an unbiased spectator, lucky enough to score some tickets in a Wachovia Suite, what I saw Monday night simply amazed me. Two heavy weight contenders slugging it out in front of a capacity crowd, playing to a draw at the half. The second portion of the game told a different story, much like Ali's rope-a-dope tactics in the ring, Villanova took UCONN's best punch falling into a double-digit hole, and then ferociously clawed back into the game to pull out a close win.
At least five thousand fans stormed the court, a tidal wave of white, towels being waved throughout, jumping up and down hugging Mr. Wright and his talented group of hoopsters. The scene was utopia; the Nova Nation was on top of the world for one-night, smiling down upon the rest of the college basketball world as if to say. "We are Nova, we play with four guards, and you better recognize.
" For the reasons stated, this is why grown men, old ladies and children alike can all identify with college basketball. Monday's game is a lot like an enormous family reunion. The bond that exists between the fan base and the university is one that is never broken, regardless of scandals and losing seasons. This is the difference between collegiate sports and professional sports.
Much like the kid in gym who gets pelted during dodge ball continually, having no chance ever, eventually, he will hit you and hurt you. So for all of you kids and adults who go home with welts left from today's physical education activity, just think of Villanova. They sent the Huskies back to Connecticut with a black eye and sore ribs. There is hope, and that hope is called March Madness.
By: Phil Reggio