In a final that could be considered one of the most exciting and instant classics, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels on a last second shot to win the NCAA Championship 77-74. Wildcats’ Kris Jenkins hit the winner as time expired.
Villanova Wildcats Defeat North Carolina Tar Heels to Win NCAA Tournament
North Carolina senior Marcus Paige had already hit a game tying 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds remaining that brought the Houston crowd to its feet in NRG Stadium. It is the first NCAA win for the Wildcats since 1985, when Head Coach Rollie Massimino guided Villanova to victory over the heavily-favored Georgetown Hoyas.
Villanova trailed 39-34 at halftime, but had withstood the Tar Heels shooting 7-10 from 3-point distance compared to their 0-10 3-point shooting in the 1st half against Syracuse Orange in the Semi-Final game.
The Wildcats were able to catch the Tar Heels from ten points down in the 2nd half and eventually take the lead. However, after Villanova took a 10-point lead late in the 2nd half, North Carolina trimmed it to four points with about 1:30 left.
Villanova Held the Tar Heels to 42% shooting
Villanova shot 28 from 45 from the field and 8 of 14 from 3-point zone. The Wildcats committed 11 turnovers in 65 possessions. Phil Booth led Villanova with 20 points. Jenkins finished with 14 points and Ryan Arcidiancono had 16 points as well as assist on Jenkins’ winning shot. Paige had 21 points for the Tar Heels. Joel Berry had 20 points, 15 in the 2nd half for North Carolina. The Wildcats held the Tar Heels to 42.9 percent shooting overall, while Villanova shot 58.3% for the game.
It was a great run to the championship for the Wildcats and the college basketball season. Both the Wildcats and the Tar Heels were playing high-level basketball and trading great plays, including the last two plays of the game.
Congratulations to the Villanova Wildcats.