Board Editorial: Win or Lose, Have Pride in the ‘Cats


Courtesy of Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

Villanovans have much to be proud of in this team’s performance throughout the season.

After a loss, it is only natural to undergo a grieving period. Saturday, April 2 was a day of loss for the Villanova community and, as it goes, its members are in at least some degree of mourning.

Following the Wildcats’ fatefully heartbreaking Final Four appearance versus Kansas, the University’s campus (and, of course, the city of New Orleans) witnessed Villanova students undergo the denial, anger, bargaining and depression that so often characterize cases of grief.

However, while it would be easy to wallow in disappointment and dream wistfully about what could have been, that is not the Villanova way, and The Villanovan commends and encourages the student body’s attitude after Saturday’s letdown.

The typical grief cycle ends with acceptance, but Villanova’s ended with something stronger: gratitude. While paths along campus, YikYak posts and general student attitudes carried palpable anguish Saturday night through Sunday, a general feeling of mutual support and pride was just as strong.

This immediate wave of support was a forceful demonstration that the University’s slogan, “Veritas, Unitas, Caritas” (especially in the case of the latter two terms), is more than just a motto for this student body—it is a promise put into action, realized through solidarity and community.

There is perhaps no better visualization of that solidarity and strength than the photo of Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels standing together, in tears but embracing, as the final seconds on the game clock ticked down.

This image became a symbol of pride and support from the fanbase as it went semi-viral over the weekend within the Villanova community, both for the two players specifically as their college careers came to a close, as well as for the team and school at large.

The show of appreciation is well-deserved—‘Nova fans have much to be proud of looking back at the 2021-22 season, and The Villanovan applauds the team for all they acheived.

While fans cheered them on in the Finn, at watch parties and in sub-freezing temperatures in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot, the ‘Cats delivered a season with victories including sweeps over conference rivals Providence and Seton Hall and going undefeated in the Big 5. Memorably, they also won the Big East Conference Tournament and, of course, made it to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament.

But true Wildcat fans are not only fans for the sake of the victories (although they are frequent). If that were the case, the parking lot would be much emptier at sunrise Wells Fargo Center tailgates.

No, the satisfaction comes from the unity that students, alumni and other fans find in supporting the team. It comes from the example set by Naismith Hall of Fame inductee head coach Jay Wright. It comes from the rush of getting a fist bump from Will D. Cat.

Although some may question why basketball is such a massive deal at Villanova, experiencing a season like this one, with a team like this one, is enough to eliminate any doubt. Yes, it’s just a game, but it is also a crucial part of the University’s culture as a close-knit student body that supports each other, good times or bad, win or lose.

Coming off a tough loss, then, that spirit of pride and community needs to conquer the inevitable disappointment, made even more poignant by Kansas’s championship win on Monday.

Judging from the state of campus, though, love has already won over frustration. Stay proud. Go ‘Cats. See you next season.