I screamed. I turned to my friend and I yelled out with joy. We embraced, we yelled, I cried. It had happened. After years of believing, years of having faith where others scoffed, it had happened. Villanova had claimed their spot in history as the best team in college basketball.
And boy did they do it in historic fashion. In the season where "anyone could win", a season dominated by senior standouts, it was a junior that gave the country the greatest finish in NCAA Basketball history. But for Villanova fans, it was more than a fantastic finish. It was more than a fantastic tournament. Villanova proved to the world that they could reach the levels that only their fans knew they could reach.
This was a Championship that Villanova earned. They had the third toughest road to a championship in NCAA history. But that didn't seem to matter, as Villanova took down four AP Top 10 opponents en route to thier first national championship in 31 years. They faced three Top 10 offenses, but Villanova posted the best tournament FG% in NCAA Tournament history. They were pushed to their limits, but Villanova played the best defense of any team in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
So what does all that mean for a fan base that hadn't seen their team win multiple games in the tournament in seven years? One word: Validation. Validation of a team that reached the potential its fans talked about in November. Validation of a coach that has believed in his players and his system for 15 years. Validation of a program that has gone from Cinderella to Standard. Validation of a league that chose basketball over football.
There is no greater feeling for a fanbase than to believe in a team when most others don't, and be proven right. It was a moment, a game, a night, a tournament, and a season that will live on forever in the hearts and minds of Nova Nation. I couldn't be prouder, I couldn't be happier. I couldn't feel closer to a team, a university, or a community than I do right now.
Enjoy this Nova Nation. Treasure this accomplishment by young men who gave their all for themselves, for each other, and for us. There are many comparisons that could be made to that magical 1985 team, but only one holds weight with me: There will never be another victory like this.
It's 3:30 AM, Eastern Standard Time. I'm 8 rum and cokes and 4 Sports Centers deep at this point. I've watched the Kansas game 7 times, and the Oklahoma blow out thrice. But all that matters is one. One moment, one shot, one game, one team, one National Championship. Congratulations Villanova Men's Basketball. Congratulations Nova Nation. We knew they deserved it, and they went out and earned it.