Villanova Wins Title At Buzzer [VIDEO]
What. A. Finish.
Monday night's game will go down not only in NCAA history, but basketball history for the way it ended. Tied at 74 with 4.7 seconds remaining against the top seeded North Carolina Tar Heels and needing to go the length of the court, the #2 seed Villanova Wildcats turned to their best players.
Kris Jenkins in-bounded the ball to Ryan Arcidiacono who took the ball nearly the length of the floor in about 4 seconds before shoveling the ball back to Jenkins offset at the top of the key. Jenkins was given too much room by the North Carolina defense and hit the shot as the buzzer sounded off, giving Villanova their first National Championship since 1985, 77-74.
"I think every shot's going in," Jenkins said, "and this one was no different."
Jenkins' shot was the first buzzer beater in the National Championship game since Lorenzo Charles had the game winning dunk for North Carolina State against the "Phi Slama Jama" Houston team in 1983.
Villanova's 6 assists is tied for the fewest in a title game by a national champion (UConn, 2011) since assists became official in 1983-84, and boy, was that last one important. Villanova was one of the hottest teams from the field in tournament history. The Wildcats shot an NCAA Tournament record 58% for a National Champion; remember, they shot a Final Four record 71% from the field on Saturday against Oklahoma.
North Carolina Head coach Roy Williams suffered his third loss in a National Championship Game (was 2-0 at UNC and 0-2 at Kansas). His Tar Heels came into the championship game averaging over 40 points in the paint throughout the tournament, only to be outscored 32-26 by Villanova.
Villanova continues the Big East's winning streak in the National Championship game. The Big East has won its last six title game appearances with its last loss being Kentucky over Syracuse in 1996. The 31 years between National Championships is the second longest all-time (Kansas 1952-88).
"If I could get a shot, I was going to shoot it," said Arcidiacono, who finished with 16 points. "But I heard someone screaming in the back of my head. It was Kris. I just gave it to him and he let it go with confidence."
Jenkins' buzzer beating 3-pointer occurred moments after North Carolina's Marcus Paige hit a double-clutch buzzer beating three of his own. Paige finished with a game-high 21 points, while teammate Brice Johnson tallied 14 and eight rebounds.
Jenkins finished with 14 points, while sophomore Phil Booth poured in a career-high 20. Villanova head coach Jay Wright captures his first championship while also winning his 20th NCAA Tournament game.