VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — Another national championship title is on the minds of Villanova fans as they get ready to send off the Wildcats to San Antonio for the Final Four.
“This could be the year again,” said sophomore Tyler Easlick.
Students packed the Connelly Center on campus Sunday to watch the matchup between Villanova and Texas Tech.
The gritty game ended with a 71-59 Nova victory.
“After we won the game, all the kids rushed out to the quad and we had this huge celebratory party even though it was only the Final Four but, I mean, the Final Four is something,” said freshman Jessica Gomez.
Coach Jay Wright and the team arrived late Sunday night from Boston, as players signed gear and greeted fans.
“No one’s worried about their individual stats or individual future. We just know if we’re playing Villanova basketball, we’re playing for each other,” said guard Donte Divincenzo, who made a stunning play during the game.
Graduate student Patrick Saulino says the game proved Nova’s versatility.
“A lot of us look at [Villanova] as being just a high-powered offense — the whole ‘live by the three, die by the three’ thing — but I think Jay Wright’s done a great job with the program and they’ve shown they can win in multiple ways,” he said.
The 2016 win is still fresh for students including sophomore Justin Apun, who says the basketball team’s success may have nudged him toward committing to the school.
“The hype around winning the national championship definitely influenced me slightly. The atmosphere coming here after Accepted Students Day was just buzzing with excitement,” Apun said.
The Wildcats, the top seed in the East Region, face the Kansas Jayhawks, the top seed in the Midwest Region, on Saturday night. Tip-off is at 8:49 p.m.