Despite loss, many Villanova students enjoyed outdoor gathering for NCAA 'Sweet 16' game

VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- There was no shortage of school spirit across Villanova Saturday as the Wildcats took the court in the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

"We got the front row seats," said first-year student Brian Barahona. "Our ears are kind of dying, but other than that, it's been great. The whole environment has been great."

With the sun shining and hope on the horizon that things will get somewhat back to normal soon, hundreds of students gathered to watch the game on Mendel Field at the university.

Many students are still living on campus but doing hybrid learning.

"It's been so fun. This is definitely one of our first events where we've had a lot of people on campus, and it's all COVID safe, and it's just fun to feel the energy again of the game season."

With people itching to get outside, dozens of students, primarily seniors, waited in line to get into a bar off Lancaster Avenue.

"I think there should have been more restrictions, like maybe barriers or like someone to be outside for crowd management," said senior McKenzie Stevens-Simon.

Senior Olivia Whytosek said, "I think a lot of people just want to show some school spirit and be together one last time for senior year."

While the outcome of the game wasn't ideal, with Villanova losing to Baylor 51 to 62, Villanova fans say they're confident they'll be back again next year.

"It was quite disappointing, you know?" said sophomore Brandon Suh. "I was very frustrated we weren't hitting our shots, but you know, it's okay, we'll get them next year."
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