The beginning of a beautiful friendship

Dave Pedra

For all of you who decided to forego attending the Syracuse-Villanova game last year, you probably remember two things. First that you should be happy you didn’t have to sit through ‘Nova being manhandled by Hakim Warrick and Gerry McNamara. Second, that there seemed to be more orange in the stands than blue.

Now switch the TiVo back to live TV, and let’s revisit this weekend. For all of you whom the lottery jilted again, I apologize, but we all have choice words for the job it’s doing this year. With that being said, we will examine the differences in this year’s game and last year’s. Besides the opposite outcome and ‘Nova’s amazing 23-point lead in the first half, there was something else special at the Wachovia Center in 2006.

Last year the Wachovia Center staff did not like us. They already experienced our rowdiness when we rushed the court after Kansas. The ushers were making students sit in assigned seats, and our student section was not much larger than the one at the Pavilion, which isn’t saying much. With McNamara’s fan base (consisting of the entire town of Scranton) buying out almost every balcony seat, there was an orange cloud of darkness hanging over Villanova students the entire game.

Afterwards the chairman of the ‘Nova Nation committee, Phil Consuegra, incited some response by writing an article in The Villanovan about the lack of a home court advantage at the nearby arena. He was then called in to meet with Vince Nicastro, the University’s Athletics Director, about possible suggestions for next year’s games. Several options were discussed, primarily general admission seating and a larger student section.

On Saturday Wildcat fans were seated at both ends of the floor, creating two raucous student sections, which proved overwhelming for the boys from upstate New York. There are two more games left at the Wachovia Center this season, one this upcoming Monday against Louisville and one in February against top ranked Connecticut. Hopefully the cooperation between Villanova athletics and the Wachovia Center will continue to improve for each game.