If you're a basketball fan (and even if you're not), you'll enjoy Daniel MacLeod's essay in Crux, "A Catholic's Guide to March Madness," which gives an overview of the Catholic colleges and universities participating in this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. MacLeod even takes the opportunity to provide a history of the religious orders -- e.g., the Jesuits, the Congregation of the Holy Cross -- that sponsor the schools.
The highest-ranked Catholic school in this year’s tournament is Villanova, which has even gained a No. 1 seed in the East Regional. Villanova was founded by the Augustinians, and named after St. Thomas of Villanova, a 16th-century Spaniard who was noted for his commitment to the poor. The Augustinian Order also trained Martin Luther, the first Protestant, so one might expect this year’s Villanova team to be especially focused on making amends for that historic loss, especially as it tips off against its interstate and inter-Christian rival Lafayette College, with its association with the Presbyterian Church.Advertisement