March Madness Ensues at Kelly’s Taproom


Courtesy of Kiera Kalafut

Students waited hours to watch the game in Kelly’s.

Maddie Schieder, Staff Writer

As the Wildcats made their way through the March Madness tournament, Villanovans have known how to celebrate, especially at the hottest off-campus bar, Kelly’s Taproom.
Senior Kiera Kalafut explained her experience at Kelly’s this month as the Madness progressed.

“There is only one place I wanted to be on gameday, and that was Kellys,” Kalafut said. “I needed to make sure that I got there early enough so I could be inside for the 6 p.m. game, so my friends and I got there at around 3:20 p.m. When I walked in, I saw people trying to pass the time with card games and numerous rounds of heads up. It’s funny because you saw the whole building shift in its energy from tired of waiting for the game, to starting to get pumped up once the first glimpse of Jay Wright came on the TV.”

Kalafut expressed that the camaraderie of students was special. Certain parts of Kelly’s would start chants, and the whole building flooded with spirit. Students have mentioned the long line, anxiously awaiting to get inside because of the mayhem around the past few games. Kalafut mentioned how the last few moments of the game were quite the experience. All of the students at the bar had been there for hours, and once the final buzzer went off, people went wild. Chairs and tables were stood on, drinks were sprayed, and everyone came together through the beauty of sports. Kalafut was certainly not the only one who experienced this core memory, as getting in was a challenge.

Other places on and off campus got in the spirit as well, as this is a moment in Villanova’s history that will be remembered forever, especially by current students. Flip and Bailey’s bar and McSorley’s Pub were also packed with fans, celebrating any way they could.

The Oreo also hosted a watch party and celebration that allowed students on campus and underclassmen to get in the spirit as well. Freshman Ellery Gray attended the Oreo on the night of the Elite Eight win.

“You couldn’t hear anything from the Connelly Center, but when you stepped foot outside to Main campus, there was music blaring and blue LED lights shining over the Green,” Gray said. “People were on shoulders and dancing to music. It really felt like a movie.”

This past Saturday, the day of the Final Four, students arrived at Kelly’s as early as 9:45 a.m. and were carrying portable chairs, towels and games. The doors did not even open until 3 p.m., and the game had a 6:09 p.m. start time. Some students reported waiting in line for four hours before getting into the bar.

Some might consider these precautions extreme, but as the University’s only college bar, many Villanovans saw it as a necessity.

Though the result of the game did not go as hoped, the devotion of Villanova fans to watch the game among community members is something to be admired. Whether it was a day spent at Kelly’s or at the Pavilion’s watch party, everyone at Villanova made the most of this once in a lifetime experience, choosing to spend hours together all for the Villanova team.