Sunday, March 29, 2009
Villanova Wins! The Road to the Final Four Continues!
This is What I Miss: Villanova students mob Lancaster Avenue (in the middle of the campus) to celebrate Villanova's last-second victory over Pittsburgh in the NCAA Tournament. The win meant that Villanova will be in the Final Four, the first time since its championship year in 1985. (Photo courtesy of the Inquirer, because obviously I couldn't get to Philly from London in time).
Villanova did it! In the last second of a pretty exciting second half, Villanova conquered Pittsburgh to win the East Regional and move on to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. (Editor's note: I know many of my British friends have no idea what I'm talking about here. I apologize). At some points during the game, I worried that I might wake up the rest of my family, given that it was 1 a.m. here in London.
As I watched the game's conclusion thousands of miles away, wearing my Villanova sweatshirt purchased in my freshman year in 1987, my first thought was, "Man, I wish I was in the Quad right now." Because this sweatshirt witnessed the last great victory of Villanova in the tournament, when it unexpectedly qualified for the Great Eight in 1988. When the game was over that year, we all rushed to the Quad and celebrated our unlikely victory.
But I also think, like many things in life, I didn't appreciate the experience in 1988. With all the bravado that immaturity brings, I thought it would be like that every year at Villanova during March Madness. It wasn't. Only in retrospect did I appreciate what a magical night of triumph and happiness that was. But now I do, and I'm sure many of my fellow 'Nova alums from that year know what I'm talking about.
This is why I suspect the Alumni Office knows it can charge more than $1,500 per ticket (after they have made a $500 obligatory donation to the Villanova Athletic Department) for Final Four tickets to its alums. Students won't pay that, because they'll think there will be other opportunities. But the alumni know how long 24 years feels, since that's how long it's been since 'Nova has been to the Final Four.