Wildcats prevail in NCAA March Madness finals
Zadok Miller, Staff Writer
On April 4, the Villanova Wildcats firmly cemented their legacy in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball history. On the backs of senior Ryan Arcidiacono and junior Kris Jenkins, the Wildcats were able to stand victorious in arguably one of the most exciting men’s NCAA national title games in history.
Arcidiacono, who, according to head coach Jay Wright, is a leader both on and off the court, will go down as one of the greats of Villanova, yet when push came to shove, he was not the one taking the shot, rather making the most important assist of his life.
UNC was able to erase a 10-point lead in the final 90 seconds of the game, with extraordinary efforts made by Marcus Paige. Paige scored eight points, including a three pointer with 4.7 seconds left.
“At that point, we believed we were going to win,” Paige said. “We just needed 4.7 seconds of defense.”
They came up just short. Jenkins inbounded the ball to Arcidiacono and trailed the play with the UNC defense unsuspecting of what was to follow. Arcidiacono dribbled to about 30 feet from the basket and then made the pass to the trailing Jenkins, who released the ball from his hands with 0.4 seconds to show on the clock. Coach Jay Wright can be seen mouthing the word “bang” the ball flew across the court and swept through the net.
Thanks to Jenkin’s buzzer-beating shot, the Wildcats are now national champions for the first time since 1985, when they finished 66-64 against the Georgetown Hoyas.
Feature photo courtesy of bleacherreport