March Madness: The Nova Nation's Mighty Meow
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March Madness: The Nova Nation's Mighty Meow

What a time to be a Wildcat.

March Madness: The Nova Nation's Mighty Meow

It looks like the weather isn't the only thing heating up this month; Villanova basketball has had an exciting season and it just keeps getting better. The question is, will Villanova win it all? The super-fans of the Villanova student section would bet their bottom dollar that the Cats will go all the way. With the Wildcats ranked by the AP Poll as number one in the nation for three consecutive weeks, a major buzz of excitement and anticipation has been pervading Nova's campus. Villanova basketball brings out a spirit in the student body that you can't help but embrace; it unites us all through our common passion for Nova hoops. Whether the game is at The Pavilion or the Wells Fargo Center, the student section is a powerful force at our basketball games, bringing an energy and excitement to the game that helps make Nova basketball what it is.

I spoke with some of the Nova Nation's biggest fans about the NCAA tournament and how they contribute to the madness. Alison Walsh, a super fan of Nova basketball and Josh Hart, explained the excitement, tradition, and pride in the student section going into March madness: "Growing up you see all the kids in the student section at the games and on TV, and you think about how cool it would be to one day be in there, having fun and rooting for the Wildcats!"

The rich history of Villanova basketball sees generation after generation come through the student section, building up the huge fan base that we see today. Walsh also shared the importance of the exposure that Nova receives because of basketball: "Being a medium sized school, but getting huge attention on a big stage like the NCAA Tournament is something we are really proud of."

The Wildcat pride is seen at every single game, no matter where it is at, or who it is against. One of the most exuberant nights at the Pavilion this season was the game against Butler. I asked Walsh what the energy was like at the game, which was also on Senior Night: "Oh my goodness, it was craziness! Everyone was so rowdy, the entire Pavilion was making noise at the ref's calls and chanting! I would say it was one of the highest energy games of the season at the Pavilion. Especially since it was senior night, and everyone was waving Arci and Ochefu posters around to cheer them on when the game was close!"

Villanova-Butler games have a history of being ugly, but that just makes them all the more exciting. It provides the opportunity for the student section to bring out the wildcat claws and get loud and proud. She says the best part of the game "is the beginning when the players run through the section, and the end when they salute us. It's so awesome because it shows how connected we are to the team, and how they love us as much as we love them."

Madeline Cohen is also a proud member of the Nova Nation's student section, and loves to watch number three sink threes on the court -- she admires Hart's growth as a player over the years as well. When asking Cohen how it feels to have our school's team going to March Madness, she explained her mixed feelings: "It's definitely super exciting, but it brings a lot of anxiety." As a super-fan, she has high hopes for the Cats going into the tournament and taking it all the way. She explained a major key to being a valuable fan in the student section is to always keep up the positive energy and be as hype as you can, no matter what is happening during the game. In regards to the success of the team this year, she said "it was such an exciting moment when I realized how well we were doing this season. All my relatives have said how special of a time it is to be at Nova right now, in the student section, cheering on the best team in the nation. When I found out we were number one, it was one of the best moments ever."

We can all agree that knowing our team has held the top spot in the nation for three straight weeks makes us feel extremely proud to be Wildcats. Cohen says her favorite part of the game is when the dance cam comes on: "I'm a pro at getting on the dance cam. Catch me on the big screen at Wells Fargo when we are in the Sweet Sixteen!"

One of the equipment managers for the team, Colin Ushkowtiz, describes the atmosphere in the student section as "beyond lit," which is quite accurate. Part of Ushkowtiz's job at the Pavilion includes "setting up the whole arena. Then fixing the chairs during half time. Then we start breaking down the tables during the second half." The equipment team plays an important role in setting up the areas during the games, while also being some of the team's biggest fans.

After a successful Big East Tournament, the Nova Nation is ready to make some noise and be a part of the madness at the NCAA Tournament.

Welcome to March Madness. Go, Cats!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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