Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Villanova Wildcats

1. Wired, '85. Most people think of Villanova s 1985 victory over Georgetown as the seminal moment in the school's history; the HBO special that runs on a constant loop during March Madness also ranks it up there as one of the NCAA tournament's greatest games. But the game took somewhat of a hit to its historic lure when guard Gary McLain came out in an 18-page Sports Illustrated essay in March 1987 describing his Belushi-esque cocaine habit during that fateful season. McLain said he was clean for the Championship game — which is good, considering he played the entire game — but during the Memphis State game in the Final Four? Lit up like a firecracker. It wasn't until last year during the team's 20th anniversary of the season that McLain was reunited with his teammates and coaching staff — clean, sober and, not surprisingly, pretty pudgy.

2. The "Alive" Moment. On the way back from an overtime victory against Providence on Jan. 11, 2005, the Wildcats endured a hellish plane ride home that resulted in an emergency landing back on Providence's icy runway. This was not typical turbulence; the plane shook violently for the first 10 minutes and, according to then-junior guard Randy Foye, besides the sickening plane-rattle, all that was heard was "the sound of people crying." In a longer article published in the Philadelphia Daily News weeks after the incident, coach Jay Wright described manning the emergency exits, sobbing stewardesses and the pilot making an announcement that everyone should prepare for a crash landing. They did land safely, and, in what was called a galvanizing moment for the team, every member boarded a plane the next day to make the trip to Georgetown, which many players and coaching staff said was the hardest thing they ever had to do. But they did.

3. Jay Wright s A Stud: He not only incites curious man-crushes from the likes of Digger Phelps and Dick Vitale (every time they comment on how "well dressed" he is, that's old white guy-speak for "I d do him."), but he's also caused many a co-ed on Villanova's Main Line campus to take notice as well. In addition to the boy band-like reception he received as students stormed the court after Nova beat then No. 1 Connecticut last month, Wright also has his own devoted group of female students called "Jay s Angels," who watch all the Nova games together in their dorm room with the same fervency as "O.C." fans. - A.J. Daulerio

Share This Story