Fandom 250: Why doesn’t Villanova’s fan base get more love?

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Villanova has the number one basketball team in the nation, yet their fanbase didn’t chart on the FanSided Fandom 250. Why no love for the Wildcats?

Fansided, the very blog you are reading right now, just released a list of the Top-250 Fandoms of 2017 and while many Philly teams, like the Eagles and the 76ers, did make the cut, one team that was noticeably absent was the Villanova Wildcats.

Now Villanova may not be the most prestigious college basketball program in the nation, lagging understandably behind the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas, but it’s hard to argue that the Wildcats success over the past decade-plus should be considered lesser in any way than any of those teams.

Ever since Jay Wright arrived on the Mainline in 2001 the Wildcats haven’t had a single season with less than 30-wins, and have earned an absurd a 68-percent winning percentage (765-519) in his tenure, including the university’s first national title since 1985.

And the most impressive part? Villanova has been doing it the old fashion way.

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Unlike the vast majority of the top teams in the nation, Wright has shied away from recruiting one-and-done players, having instead chosen to build a strong core culture around hard work. His teams are often loaded with battle-tested veterans whom may not be the most physically talented players in the nation but have a unique understanding of the finer points of the game of basketball.

So, with such a good team, an endearing head coach and a consistent winning pedigree, why aren’t Villanova fans recognized for their passion?

Well, it may be because for many people the area’s other sports teams, like the Flyers, Eagles, and Sixers, often get the majority of the attention. Whereas a team like Kentucky is, for the most part, the only show in town, Wildcats fans will also be competing with not only pro teams, but also other college teams, like Temple, Penn, and St. Joseph’s. Even though Villanova has established themselves as a basketball powerhouse, as far as universities are concerned Temple is a much bigger school, with many more alumni both in the area and nationally.

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If Villanova continues to win consistently, it’s entirely possible that the Wildcats nation will continue to grow, but realistically Villanova is a mid-sized, regional program that will continue to be the gem of the Big East.