PHILADELPHIA — Villanova players flash their fingers in a “V” symbol to celebrate big wins.

For Coach Jay Wright, that’s a finger for every national championship ring.

Already cemented as a dominant program in college basketball, the Wildcats are flirting with putting their names on a more opulent D-list: dynasty.

The Wildcats’ romp through the NCAA tournament that ended Monday with a second national title in three seasons has them up for debate as one of the top programs since the tourney field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

You know, the year the Wildcats won their first national title.

There’s plenty of time to talk about Villanova’s place in history after the partying is done this week.


The Wildcats returned home to a raucous celebration at their suburban campus on Tuesday and a parade was planned for Thursday in downtown Philadelphia just hours before the Phillies’ home opener.

Parades have suddenly become a thing in Philly.

See: the Eagles.

Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and breakout star Donte DiVincenzo helped the Wildcats win all six tournament games by double digits, joining Michigan State in 2000, Duke in 2001 and North Carolina in 2009. Villanova also joined the 1968 UCLA team as the only ones to win both their Final Four games by 16 or more points.

“I knew we were good, but you don’t think we can win this,” Wright said.

He should know they can: The Wildcats set a program best in wins (36-4) and won an NCAA-record 136 games over a four-year span.


And if anyone is still stumped about how Villanova could be considered on the short list of college basketball’s blue bloods following a decade of dominance, consider:

n In the post-John Wooden/UCLA era, only three other teams have won two titles in three seasons: Duke in 1991 and 1992, Florida in 2006 and 2007 and Kentucky in 1996 and 1998. Villanova became just the ninth program to win three championships (1985 and ’16) and has made three Final Fours since 2009.

n In the last five seasons, the Wildcats have four regular-season Big East titles, three Big East tournament titles and two national championships. The list of accolades under Wright stretches longer than the combined distance of the Final Four-record 18 3-pointers hit against Kansas in Saturday’s national semifinals.

Wright leads a loaded roster fully positioned to go back-to-back and show college basketball that Duke and Kentucky and Kansas and North Carolina can all be rolled into one program nestled in the Philadelphia suburbs.

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