Cats Win it All: 31 year drought comes to an end


Henry Malone

villanova_logoThe Villanova Wildcats are NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions, winning their title in spectacular fashion. With a moment that we will remember for years to come, the question is: Where were you when Kris Jenkins hit the shot?

“Bang” is all Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright had to say before the now famous shot went up, walking off like a complete gangster, showing zero emotion, after it went in. But Malvern students and the rest of Nova Nation got hype, to say the least.

It had been 31 long years since the Wildcats were on top of the college basketball world, and in those 31 years, the Cats have had highs and lows, including multiple second round exits and disappointing tournament finishes. But Jay Wright’s boys were the ones cutting down the nets after the buzzer sounded this season, allowing the ‘Nova Nation’ and Malvern students to party like it was 1985.

The Wildcats took down a North Carolina team riddled with future NBA players and led by one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time, Roy Williams.

However, their hustle and timely shot-making prevailed in what may be the greatest shot in basketball history.

Every story seems to be different. Everyone seemed to have had a different kind of reaction, all with one common theme: celebration, bursting with joy.

“My brother and I immediately ran out of the house and started running towards Villanova’s campus,” junior Ollie Walsh said.

Like Walsh, die hard Villanova fan Junior Ryan Franks ran around his neighborhood yelling as loud as he could.

Even though this is probably a hyperbole, there are many other reactions to the shot that people experienced.

“[When the shot went in] me and all my friends were frozen,” freshman Gavin Canzanese said. “We ran out of the house grabbing the first thing we could find, and started making the most noise we could.”

Sophomore Harrison Naughton reacted similarly, yelling so loud that his whole family woke up. “I thought it was going to overtime at first, but after the shot went in, I went crazy and accidentally woke my parents up.”

Teacher Mrs. Lappas, who was at Villanova’s semi-final game against Oklahoma the weekend before, watched the shot from her home and shouted so loud her dog barked all night.

Even Malvern President and Villanova alumnus Father Flynn, admitted he was shocked by the outcome. “I was beside myself when the shot went in. It was an absolutely amazing experience,” Flynn said.

Flynn credits Villanova’s win to hunger and humility. “The hunger to win, and with humility and respect for their opponent. That humility and hunger are really what an Augustinian education is all about.”

Villanova’s hunger and humility are prime examples of head coach Jay Wright’s coaching philosophy and should continue to lead the Wildcats to success in future seasons.

But for now, lets just enjoy this one for what it is: Our local team, taking down a national powerhouse school, on perhaps the craziest shot in basketball history.

Because who knows how long it will be until they win another one.