Parade Celebrates Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Mens’ Basketball Championship

The City of Philadelphia held a parade on Friday, April 8, 2016 to celebrate the Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Mens’ Basketball championship. Approximately 70,000 people lined the streets to watch the Villanova championship team as they made their way from 23rd and Market Street to Dilworth Plaza at City Hall (atop double-decker buses) where they were greeted by Mayor Jim Kenney, and an enthusiastic crowd of fans, family, former Villanova players, and well-wishers.
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Video clips from riding through the parade:
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At City Hall, the crowd heard from Father Peter Donohue, President of Villanova, who thanked the attendees for embracing the Wildcats so heartily on their quest for the National Championship. Ryan Fannon, the voice of Villanova basketball, then introduced the coaches and players of the 2016 Championship Team. Coach Jay Wright, who was named the 2016 Naismith Mens’ Coach of the Year, also thanked all of the fans in the Greater Philadelphia region for their support. “We are honored to be a part of Philadelphia, today, and forever,” Coach Wright told the large crowd.
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Coach Wright then called on a number of the players to speak to the throng of fans. Josh Hart, Daniel Ochefu, Kris Jenkins, and Ryan Arcidiacano shared their excitement about the journey to the championship with the audience. Both Hart and Jenkins received chants of “One more year!” from the crowd and their teammates on stage. The massive crowd then got to watch a replay of the quintessential shining moment of the tournament on the large screens in Dilworth Plaza: the final 4.7 seconds of the championship game. Once again, we saw Kris Jenkins inbound the ball to Ryan Arcidiacono, who dribbled the ball into the front court, and then passed the ball back to Jenkins, who was trailing the play for one of, if not the, most memorable shots in college basketball history. BANG! Jenkins three-pointer swished through the net and  Villanova had beaten UNC 77-74 for the 2016 National Championship.
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To put into perspective, the feat Villanova accomplished to win the 2016 Tournament, consider the following:
In its opening game, Villanova trounced UNC Asheville by 30 points, 86-56. In the next game, Villanova handily beat the Iowa Hawkeyes (ranked as high as #3 in the country this year) by 19 points, 87-68.
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Next up was Miami, ranked #10,  Villanova won by 23 points, 92-69. Villanova then beat #1 ranked and seeded Kansas Jayhawks by 5 points, 64-59, a season low for the Jayhawks.
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Villanova then decimated the Oklahoma Sooners by an astounding 44 points, the most lopsided win in Final Four History, 95-51. The Wildcats scored more points in the second half (53) than Oklahoma did for the whole game.
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In the championship game, the Wildcats beat 3rd ranked, and 1 seed, University of North Carolina, 77-74, after trailing by 7 points in the second half, on a heart-stopping three pointer by Kris Jenkins to win its second national title. The first was in 1985. Ryan Arcidiacono was named outstanding player of the Final Four.

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

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