The Magic of March Madness Distilled Into One Moment
Do you remember where you were on April 4, 2016?
restore the team’s status as a perennial powerhouse, I was with him every step of the way. It wasn’t an overnight success, but when we reached the Elite 8 in 2006, it was clear that big things were on the horizon.
I’m guessing that date doesn’t mean a whole lot to most of the folks reading this article. But for a few of you, myself included, it is a day you’ll never forget. On that day, the VillanovaWildcats, my alma mater, won their first Men’s Basketball Championship Game since 1985. It may technically have happened in April, but it’s easily my favorite March Madness moment of all time. Nova’s previous heyday occurred right around the time I was an undergraduate. If memory serves me right, the Cats were marching through the bracket toward their first title when I first stepped foot on campus. I wasn’t even a student yet, but I’m sure school officials were more than happy to tour prospective students during the program’s halcyon days. The sense of school spirit was overwhelming. Looking back, it’s impossible to knowwhether that beneficial timing influenced where I chose to go to school, though I think it’s safe to say it didn’t hurt. Some of my fondest collegiate memories involve the basketball program. Coach Rollie Massimino, a living legend at the time, would eat in the very same dining hall as the lowly students. At first, you couldn’t help but stop and stare. After a while, it became routine. I also learned very quickly that the HolyWar — the nickname for the rivalry between Villanova and St. Joe’s — is no joke. Everyone told me it was an atmosphere unlike any other, but I didn’t realize how serious it was until I saw it in person. Even as somebody who grew up in Philly, a place with no shortage of feverish fandom, there was a level of intensity in those student sections I hadn’t previously experienced. Of course, they were a heck of a lot of fun too.
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Which brings us back to April 4, 2016. Nova made it to the National Championship Game for the first time since coach Massimino. Facing a highly touted North Carolina team in the finals, I truly did not knowwhat to expect. The game itself was a nail-biter. With 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation, N.C.’s Marcus Paige hit an insane three-pointer to tie the game. At that point, overtime looked the likeliest outcome. Then came the pivotal moment. Nova brought the ball up the court. It came to Kris Jenkins, who hoisted up a three as time expired. As the buzzer sounded, the ball went through the rim, winning the Cats the title in the most dramatic fashion. In that moment, I felt everything a sports fan ever hopes to experience. If that’s the best moment Nova basketball ever gives me, it will be more than enough. I hope everyone enjoys March Madness this year, no matter who you root for. But if you happen to root for Villanova, I hope you enjoy it more than everyone else!
Needless to say, I’m a Nova lifer. So when JayWright took over the program in 2001 and began to gradually
1 Published by The Newsletter Pro | www.TheNewsletterPro.com -Dr. Mark Fabeywww.fabeydentalstudios.com
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