Villanova Wildcats return to campus as National Champions

A huge homecoming greeted the Villanova Wildcats back to campus after a wild National Championship win in Houston and the team was grateful for the support.

"The Nova Nation was louder than any team in that arena and you guys have done it for us all year," head coach Jay Wright said.

VIDEO: Nova Nation loud and proud at homecoming

A crowd consisting of alumni, faculty, students, members of sports organizations, to name a few, cheered and chanted for Wright, Ryan Arcidiacono, Kris Jenkins, Daniel Ochefu, and the entire team at Villanova Stadium Tuesday afternoon.

PHOTOS: Villanova Wildcats return to Philly as champions

"Thank you for everything. 2016 National Champions," Arcidiacono said.

The players took time to thank the fans who followed them throughout their championship journey.

"I want to say thank you to all you who came out all year. You had our back and this is a great time I was fortunate to play with. I love these dudes. Go Cats, baby!" guard Phil Booth said.

"It's great to be home, great to have the support of all you guys coming out this whole year. That's all I can really say. Go Cats!" guard Josh Hart said.

"Thank you for coming out. Thank you for your support throughout the years. I couldn't ask for a better way to go out. On top. Nova Nation. National Champions, baby," Ochefu.

VIDEO: Jamie Apody speaks to Jay Wright at Homecoming

As he made his way to the field, Jay Wright stopped to talk with Action News sports reporter Jamie Apody.

"This is awesome. I never even dreamed about this part. This part I never even thought about," Wright said.

The 2016 National Champions made their way back to Philadelphia International Airport Tuesday after their 77-74 victory over North Carolina.

"This is awesome. It's like you're walking on a cloud. It's especially nice to be back in Villanova, back in Philly," Wright said.

VIDEO: Villanova Wildcats arrive at Philadelphia Int'l Airport

Airport fire units created a water arch over the plane signaling the Wildcats home.

VIDEO: Water arch welcomes Villanova home

Prior to the team returning, a plane first arrived with alum and university officials including the Villanova University President Fr. Peter Donohue.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for us to kind of show the world the kind of institution Villanova is and what we can do," Fr. Donohue said.

A motorcade then led the players back to Villanova University for the homecoming celebration.

VIDEO: Wildcats arrive at PHL with NCAA Championship trophy

Before star players Arcidiacono and Jenkins reached the massive crowd, they spoke to Action News.

VIDEO: Players speak to 6abc at Homecoming

"It's unbelievable. Nova Nation out in full force," Arcidiacono told Jamie.

Jenkins, coming off his game winning buzzer-beater, could not believe what he was experiencing.

"It's crazy. It's amazing. I'm just happy we were able to win," Jenkins said.

As for his shot - he just had a quick statement on that.

"It was a big shot," Jenkins said before entering the sea of Villanova supporters.

Students attending the homecoming did not have to worry about missing a big test as classes were canceled for the day.

The celebrations continue Friday when the City of Philadelphia hosts a parade for the Wildcats.
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