The Villanova Wildcats men's basketball team has not been invited to visit the White House to celebrate their 2018 NCAA national championship, which marked the team's second title in the past three years. Head coach Jay Wright informed reporters at Big East media day in New York that the Wildcats probably would not go even if they had been invited.
It has been nearly eight month's since Villanova's April win over the Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA Tournament Championship game and no invitation has been extended to the team, despite the fact that they visited President Barack Obama in White House after winning the title in 2016.
If they were to be invited, Wright said: "We probably wouldn’t be able to get everybody together. We’ve lost staff members, we’ve lost players (to the NBA)."
He continued: "Two years ago it was the experience of a lifetime for all of us. It’s just a different time and I understand it. So it is what it is.”
Trump received visits from the 2017 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, World Series champion Houston Astros, Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins and the NCAA football champions Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers. This year, he canceled a visit from the Philadelphia Eagles to commemorate their 2018 Super Bowl win after most of the players decided they would not attend. The Golden State Warriors did not receive an invitation to celebrate their 2018 championship after declining the invitation following their 2017 title.
The South Carolina women’s basketball team and the North Carolina men’s basketball team, both of which won NCAA titles in 2017, declined White House invitations. The Notre Dame women’s basketball team also has still not been invited. The WNBA champion Seattle Storm echoed a simliar sentiment, saying that although Trump had not tried to schedule a celebratory ceremony, they would not have attended if he did.
The Washington Capitals, 2018's Stanley Cup champions, have not yet been officially invited either. Many members of the team said they would attend if extended an invitation, while others have clearly stated that they would not join the team at the White House.
Coach Wright and his Wildcats will visit Washington, D.C. this year, when the team takes on Big East rival Georgetown at Capital One Arena in February.
Villanova kicks off the 2018-19 season on Nov. 6 when they host Morgan State at home. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET.