Philly Celebrates Villanova Victory

WRITTEN BY: NATHAN WEAVER

As we all know in Philadelphia, the NCAA basketball season has just recently come to a close, with a Big 5 team coming out the victors. Villanova University decided to cap off their season-long success with a parade through Philadelphia, concluding with a ceremony at Dilworth Park at City Hall.

NCAA Villanova North Carolina Final Four Basketball Villanova players celebrate after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Villanova players celebrate after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) Witf.org

Throughout the whole NCAA basketball tournament, the questions going through the area were: Should we back Villanova as part of the Big 5? Is Villanova even counted as a Philadelphia School?

“We were all rooting for Temple to make it to the second round,” E.J. Hernandez, a Villanova senior said, “that would be one of the biggest games, like Indiana- Kentucky.”

Hernandez explained that playing against Temple in the regular season as part of the Big 5 is something that he will always remember from his time in the city. When it turned out that Temple would not make it to the second round of the tournament to face off against their Big 5 counter-part, Hernandez and his friends around him displayed a consensus of disappointment.

When asked if they consider Villanova to be in the city of Philadelphia they jokingly answered, “We ARE Philadelphia!” They then continued on a more serious note saying, “Not necessarily the campus, but as basketball goes I would say I would consider it Philadelphia.”

“As long as they are part of the Big 5, as far as I’m concerned, they are part of Philadelphia even though they are out on the Main Line,” John Kapoosian, a parade-goer said.

“I’m old school, I think anybody in the big five, when they win a championship, they [The Big 5] all win,” Tom Scar, a Temple grad said. “It seems like the younger kids have a loyalty: If they went to Lasalle, they root for Lasalle, I’m old school and I always root for the Big 5.”

“It [winning the National Championship] helps them to reconnect to the city,” a Villanova graduate from 1970 said during the parade on Friday Afternoon. “There has been some dissension about the Big 5 being split up, but I think you can see today that a lot of old wounds have been healed.

“Certainly, I was born and raised in the city, and there are a tremendous amount of people in Philadelphia and in the surrounding 5 counties that have ties to Villanova.” The 1970 grad went on to explain that back when he was in school, there was no question about if Villanova was part of the city schools or not and that there was not the split between the schools like there is now. He said that there were jabs taken between friends if one school beat another in the Big 5, but the question of Villanova being a city school is a recent discrepancy that had not existed before.

To consider Villanova as a city school, I believe, is not correct due to its geographical location. But to think of the Big 5 conference that is based in the city of Philadelphia without Villanova, and the attention it now brings to the area, it might be a decent idea to start congratulating Villanova as a team, and including them as a school.

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