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Villanova Basketball’s Quest For National Dominance (Dec. 5 Update)

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Big 5 Uprisings lead to Territory Expansion

nova imperialism map

“What if college basketball games were battles for land?”

That’s the question posed by the College Basketball Imperialism Map thread on Reddit. For those of you that haven’t found this internet gem yet, it’s the annual tracking of territorial warfare based on the outcomes of college basketball games. Brilliant.

Full disclosure, I haven’t done a ton of research into the origins of this annual endeavor, but I believe it started with college football before making its way to the hardwood last year. The rules are fairly simple:

  • Every county in the country starts the season under the rule of the team located closest to them.
  • If a team with land is beaten by a team without, the winning team takes all of their territory regardless of where the game is played.
  • If two teams with land play each other, the winning team consolidates all the territory under their rule.
  • The only exception is if a team with land loses to a non-D1 opponent, in which case they retain their territory.

Last season, along with a National Championship, the Villanova Wildcats wound up controlling all of college basketball and dominating the territory map (see above). But this season everything starts fresh. So heading into November, here’s what the original map looked like:

The map correctly assigns Villanova to two counties right off the bat, while giving nothing to St. Joe’s. The king reigns supreme while the serfs must beg for relevance. I love it. I’ll continue to update Nova Nation anytime our territory changes, but here’s a history of this year’s campaign:

The Campaign Begins

Now, onto the next chapter in Villanova’s Quest for National Dominance!

Philly victory leads to Mid-West expansion (Dec. 5th)

There was talk of rebellion in the streets as the great Wildcat Warriors returned home from battle. The other great houses of Philadelphia again would attempt to rise up and end Villanova’s reign over the city. The first challenger were the Explorers, led by one of Nova’s own warriors now turned against them. It was a vicious battle, but as seems to always be the case in these cross city skirmishes, Villanova came out on top. Their empire remained in tact.

Then the Wildcats had the opportunity for expansion. Another Big 5 army was marching on Nova’s territory, this time led by a valiant and decorated warrior looking for one last chance at glory. Again, the battle was tough fought, but this second uprising was quelled when Sir Samuels rode in last minute to rally the troops and turn defeat into victory. Villanova remains king of Philadelphia for a 24th consecutive battle, and continues to expand its empire to the West by taking the Owls land in Illinois.

Villanova’s Quest By The Numbers

There are currently 45 teams split among the 325 territories among the 3,143 counties and parishes in the US.

Complete GIF of the 2018-19 Campaign

Villanova’s Campaign By The Numbers

Total Counties: 203 (3rd in the country)

Total Population: N/A (Outside of Top 10)

Total Square Miles: 125,779 (9th in the country)

Total Territories: 19 (Tied for 3rd in the country)

Big East’s Campaign By The Numbers

Total Counties: 496 (1st in the country)

Total Population: 56,627,779 (1st in the country)

Total Square Miles: 369,543 (4th in country)

Total Territories: 50 (Tied for 1st in the country)


A special thanks to Joey Loose, the creative genius behind all of this. We’ll keep you updated any time the map changes for Villanova, but you can always check the reddit site for national changes daily. To Victory, Nova Nation!!!