Pope Francis confirms he is rooting for Villanova



Claire Hoffman

After months of unconfirmed speculation, it’s official: Pope Francis is a Villanova fan. During a special media interview in Rome, Vatican interns and students of the University inquired who he hoped would take the NCAA championship. Sources say Francis heartily replied, “Villanova, of course!” before continuing on the discussion of his upcoming apostolic exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia.”

Francis joins other big names wearing blue and white on Saturday like Stephen Colbert and Jill Biden.

Students are not surprised, and many even suspected it. “It totally makes sense,” junior finance major and longtime fan of His Holiness Kyle Fischer said.  “I mean, we’ve got an incredible defense.”

Few have forgotten Francis’ visit to Philadelphia in late September of last year.  Though he did not make a visit to campus, many Villanovans volunteered during the visit, and many more attended his speech. Some assume it was during this time that Francis witnessed the incredible spirit of Nationers and has since kept the University close to his heart.

However, many are not so thrilled at the news. “It’s a lot of pressure,” Number 23, senior forward Daniel “Chef” Ochefu said, when hearing the Pope’s declaration of faith. “I’m definitely excited to have another ‘Nova basketball fan, but this certainly does raise the stakes.”

University President Peter M. Donohue, Ph.D., O.S.A does not seem to share in Ochefu’s trepidation. “What an exciting moment for the University and Villanova basketball,” Donohue said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring greater awareness to the exceptional educational experience, rooted in the Augustinian tradition, which makes Villanova such a special place.”

Across the country, thousands of Oklahoma, Syracuse and UNC fans have expressed outrage on social media platforms and online message boards to the unfairness of the situation, but have ultimately resigned to their fate. “I just cancelled my flight to Houston,” Orange fan Bridgette Williams said. “I love Syracuse and I wish the Pope was rooting for us, but now that he’s not, what’s the point?”

“These boys have been working really hard this season,” Head Coach Jay Wright said. “It’s incredible to see it paying off. I mean, come on, the Pope’s a ‘Nova fan? That’s unbelievable.”

The Villanovan reached out to the Vatican to inquire whether Francis has made any travel plans to Houston, but have received no comment.

Editor’s Note: This article has been published in the spirit of April Fools. While we wish we could, The Villanovan can not confirm that Pope Francis is a Wildcat at heart.