After the completion my freshman year, all my family and friends asked me the usual "new college student" questions.
How was your first year?
Did you make any friends?
Do you like your classes?
Did you miss home?
And other questions that I’m sure we all heard at one point or another. I contemplated making up business cards or a video just to bypass that little encounter.
One question I seldom heard was "What was your favorite part of freshman year?" This question was a challenge; there was so much to choose from. Was it Restaurant Week in Philadelphia in October? That week in November when my friends from high school all visited Drexel? Or could it be how my freshman year ended with a Spring concert featuring Alesso in April? As you see, the last year was busy for me.
While I thought of the response for this question, I spotted two pieces of green cardboard thumbtacked to my bulletin board. One reads "University of Louisville vs. Villanova University." The other, "Syracuse University vs. Villanova University," the games separated by 88 hours. Two chances in 88 hours to storm the Wells Fargo court (at the Louisville game I got tackled by security instead; a story from another time).
Going 14 of 16 in the last two minutes of the Louisville game to seal the deal.
The missed free throw by Michael Carter-Williams, followed by last second shot by Arcidiacono against SU to go to overtime, ACTUALLY STORMING THE COURT after the OT buzzer sounded this time.
I’d say those 88 hours were my favorite part of freshman year.
(My view from the stands after the final buzzer sounded against Louisville.)
Excitingly, it is that time of year again, as all Villanova students have just recently received the annual email from Thomas Mogan signaling the beginning of the lottery for basketball tickets. After registering for the first preseason game, I looked again at the schedule for the year, noting the big games the new conference. The first home game that actually matters is the Big East Home Opener against Providence. The only notable games- one verses teams who objectively will be ranked or at the top of the standings- are Marquette, Georgetown, and Creighton. Not surprisingly, these are the three regular season games at Wells Fargo. Creighton will be a fascinating matchup, one that not many students or other spectators have witnessed before. As for the other two, while those are the "Classic Big East" matchups, both occur over Spring Break.
Two Wells Fargo events scheduled between the days of March 1st and 9th.
This happens to be the second year in a row in which Georgetown visited the Wildcats over Spring Break, last year’s being the third Wells Fargo upset.
You would think an issue like this could be addressed.
So, cross out the two Spring Break games in which the Student Section will comprise of 50 or so devoted Nationers, and Creighton is your only upset-alert matchup this year. Of course that could change if a team like Butler or St. John’s makes a statement this year. As of now, though, it looks like the BlueJays are our only hopes of rushing the court this year.
Does that give the season a dull view? Kind of. However, it’s exciting to be in a conference where we MATTER. In the Classic Big East, football equaled revenue which equaled relevance. For schools like Villanova, Seton Hall and St. John’s, they were excluded from all of the realignments that schools like Rutgers and Syracuse went through. This was why the small, Catholic, basketball-driven schools decided to make their own conference- help themselves before they get left behind in the dust.
The way I’ve been writing, it seems like I look down upon the other teams in our new Big East. This is not the case. I cannot wait to be grouped with universities that are just like us. Hopefully this kind of alliance spreads to the other powerhouses of other sports, such as it is doing with college football. This sort of conference should see many good years to come.
Maybe we’ll even see some surprises in the near future… DePaul an over .500 team?