Buzzer-beater gives Villanova the win

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The Villanova Wildcats celebrate being the 2016 NCAA men’s national champions at NRG Stadium April 4, in Houston, Texas. Courtesy of kare11.com

Villanova Wildcats’ forward Kris Jenkins hit a three-pointer with one second on the clock to make Villanova the 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s national champions.
The Wildcats defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 77 to 74 April 2,  their second championship in program history and the first time a team won the NCAA championship game on a buzzer-beater since 1983, according to CNN.

The Villanova Wildcats celebrate being the 2016 NCAA men's national champions at NRG Stadium April 4, in Houston, Texas. Courtesy of kare11.com
The Villanova Wildcats celebrate being the 2016 NCAA men’s national champions at NRG Stadium April 4, in Houston, Texas.
Courtesy of kare11.com

The Villanova Wildcats earned their position in the championship game after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners 98 to 41, making Villanova the first team to win by more than 40 points in a final four NCAA March Madness game.
The opposing team, the North Carolina Tar Heels, beat the tenth seed Syracuse Orange 83 to 66 to secure a spot in the championship game. Going into this game, North Carolina head coach Mr. Roy Williams was asked to comment about the NCAA allegations that North Carolina football and basketball players received impermissible benefits over several years on Entertainment and Sports Programming Network’s (ESPN) radio show “Mike and Mike” Friday, April 1.
“I feel for North Carolina. We have no allegations against men’s basketball. But these are four groups of outstanding young men who have played their tails off the entire year and this is part of their dream. Let’s try to focus on that. Let these young men enjoy that instead of going on about some side street issues,” Mr. Williams said, according to ESPN
Villanova and North Carolina players, coaches, alumni, and spectators gathered at the NRG Stadium, in Houston, Texas for the national championship game, with the tip off at 9:19 p.m. eastern time (ET).

In the first half of the game, neither team gained a lasting lead. North Carolina gained control in the final minutes by beating Villanova in rebounds and shooting threes, hitting seven of nine for 77.8 percent. North Carolina was winning 39 to 34 at halftime.
In the second half, Villanova stole the lead with a three from sophomore guard Phil Booth to make it 49 to 46 with 12:46 remaining on the clock. North Carolina never regained the lead.
With 4.7 seconds remaining, and North Carolina down by three, Tar Heels’ senior guard Marcus Paige shoot a three-pointer to tie the game. Quick to respond, Villanova’s junior forward scored a three at the buzzer to claim the championship title for his team.
Villanova head coach Mr. Jay Wright expressed his speechlessness and gratitude for winning his first NCAA championship, according to 6abc.com.
“Right now, I’m numb. I really am. It is a thrill, it is humbling to feel so fortunate with these guys,” Mr. Wright said.
The NCAA named senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who assisted Jenkins for the game-winning shot, the Most Outstanding Player. He finished the game with 16 points.
Jenkins spoke of his admiration for his senior guard’s choice to give up the opportunity to score the game winning shot.
“Ryan Arcidiacono, he’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with,” Jenkins said. “For a senior to get the ball and make the right play and not try to shoot the ball in double coverage just shows a lot about him and what he’s about and how he’s just all about winning,” Jenkins said, according to CNN
Convent of the Sacred Heart sophomore and member of the varsity basketball team, Erin Cleary, expressed her amazement while watching the championship game.
“This march madness game was by far one of the best tournament games. You can really see that both Villanova and North Carolina deserved to be in that final game, and both wanted to get that win for the team. Both teams had great defense, made their shots, and played hard until the last minute. This game will be remembered for awhile,” Erin said.

– Kristen Davis, Sports & Health Editor