You’re not compelled to root for Villanova. College basketball divides the local fan base into a half-dozen smaller constituencies. There are thousands of enthusiasts with cherry-red sweatshirts or Holy War scars who struggle to cheer for the Main Line Wildcats.
You must, however, admire what is happening here. As Jay Wright’s defending National Champions head into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, the magnitude of their greatness cannot be overstated.
This is the best college basketball team in our history. They stand to be the top local team, any sport, since those Flyers of the mid-1970s.
I AGREE. Read the full thing here.
Side note: My Holy War scar? It’s the reason for my Phil Martelli hate. As a Nova student, I’m sitting in the stands at the Palestra and Martelli is headed to the locker room at halftime, crushing us, and looks up at the student section, claps his hands facetiously, and flashes a menacing smile. He was dead to me after that. Jay Wright would never do such a thing to an opposing fan base, let alone a local school’s. He has too much class. So does Fran Dunphy, Dr. G, and whoever coaches Penn (probably). That was a Boeheim move from Martelli. Even Jim Calhoun has more respect for the game. And so, when I had to deliver a rant on Great Sports Debate a few years ago while Martelli was at the table, it took every fiber of my being not to stop what I was doing, look him directly in the eye, and declare that the Hawk was dead.