NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: VILLANOVA!
The #2 ranked Villanova University Wildcats defeat #1 ranked University of North Carolina Tar Heels in a 3-point buzzer beater to seal the deal 77-74 as time ran out. In a game just as exciting, if not more so, than any NBA championship, this year’s NCAA tournament kept us all on the edges of our seats up to the very end.
NCAA Championship traditions:
We’ve talked previously about the March Madness Final Four Bracket Tournament predictions, and it turns out that only 2.6% of brackets picked Villanova to win! That goes to show you how difficult the “guessing” really is… those 2.6% are probably all Nova students anyways.
After the game, the winning team also gets the chance to cut down one of the nets. Ladders are brought out by tournament organizers immediately after the buzzer sounds and the scissors are specially made for the occasion and emblazoned with the NCAA logo by a paid sponsor. Each player takes one snippet as a souvenir, then gives way to the next player. Freshmen go first, seniors last and, finally, the head coach.
Another tradition of the men’s college basketball tournament is the playing of the song “One Shining Moment.” Played after the completion of the championship game each year, the song is set to a montage of great plays and celebrations from that year’s tournament. Originally written by David Barrett in 1986 while watching the great Larry Bird play, the song was bought by CBS and was performed by Barrett to a national audience for the first time in 1987, after Indiana defeated Syracuse in the championship game. Over the years, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, and Jennifer Hudson would receive the honor of performing the song.
And, of course, with a national championship, comes many great opportunities for the schools’ athletic departments, including huge sponsorship deals, access to better high school players, and more scouts for the NBA draft.
So, what is Villanova?
Villanova University is a private university located in Radnor Township, on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It’s named after Saint Thomas of Villanova, and the school is the oldest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine, the university traces its roots to old Saint Augustine’s Church, Philadelphia, which the Augustinian friars founded in 1796, and to its parish school, Saint Augustine’s Academy, which was established in 1811. U.S. News & World Report lists Villanova as a “more selective” regional university and ranks it as the best regional university in the North. Barrons lists Villanova as most selective.
For more than a decade, Villanova University has been ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report in the Best Masters Universities-category, Northern Region, a ranking for schools in the North which offer strong Masters, and undergraduate programs but have fewer doctorate programs. Villanova has several highly regarded academic programs, including an engineering school that is ranked No. 9 among undergraduate engineering programs whose highest degree is a masters. The Villanova School of Business was ranked No. 24 in the 2014 Business Week rankings of undergraduate business schools, No. 69 in the 2012 U.S. News and World Report rankings of undergraduate business schools, and No. 29 in the Financial Times’ ranking of top executive MBA programs. Villanova University School of Law is ranked as a Top Law School by the 2009 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” placing 61st overall.
Villanova University has an overall undergraduate acceptance rate of 39.1%, accepting just over 6,000 of the 15,398 applicants in 2011. Of the accepted students, 84% ranked in the top 10% of their high school class, and 94% ranked in the top 20%. The GPA range for a typical student is 3.81–4.21/4.00 on a weighted scale. The middle 50 percent range of SAT scores for the typical accepted applicant was 1340-1440/1600, and the middle 50 percent range of the composite ACT score for the typical accepted applicant was 30–33.
The last time the Villanova men’s basketball team won the national championship was in 1985, against a formidable Georgetown University. They were ten points down in the polls, and many people say it was one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history.
And basing our predictions on mascots alone, maybe some of you did choose the Wildcats to win this year!