It was a long wait, but their patience couldn’t have a better and sweeter ending. Like an inspirational movie, with 4.7 seconds left and the game tied at 74 the Wildcats won the game on a last second shot!
It is coach Jay Wright’s signature move. The same heart-stopping shot used to beat Pittsburgh at the Elite Eight, back in 2009. No wonder why they practiced that play over and over every single day.
After being down by 5 in the first half, the Wildcats were leading in the second half 49-46 with 12 minutes left. However, in a matter of five minutes, The Tar Heels strike back, and Marcus Paige tied the game with a 3-pointer.
The responsibility was in hands of Ryan Arcidiacono, who raced upcourt, and passed the ball to Kris Jenkins. Fearless, Jenkins took the shot from the right wing, scoring on the buzzer the three dramatic points to reach their second N.C.A.A. Men’s Championship. Their last National Championship was captured back in 1985.
It was the first buzzer-beating shot to win an N.C.A.A. men’s national title since Lorenzo Charles’s dunk for North Carolina State in 1983, and the first title game to end on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
School Is Out!
It had been 31 years since Villanova’s last national title, and “Nova’s” fans took advantage of the night and spread their excitement all over the city. Right after the Wildcats dogpiled in an emotional team hug, students rushed from “The Pavilion”, onto a nearby commercial strip. –The perfect place to begin the party. Pubs and restaurants festooned with balloons and banners were quickly packed with happy revelers.
As expected, the celebrations for the win went a little too far. According to police reports, there were some small bonfires as people burned trees, a sofa, and toilet paper. Eight people were arrested, four of them for disorderly conduct, for starting the fires. Two others were booked, apparently for assaulting a police horse. “No comments.” Also, twenty-five people were treated for minor injuries, with five of them requiring hospitalization.
Celebrations went on all night and ran through the early morning, as police in riot gear looked on and the school announced that there would be no classes on Tuesday. Villanova University also announced plans for a parade Friday afternoon in Center City Philadelphia to celebrate the 2016 NCAA National Champion Wildcats, so the party won’t be over probably until next week. Congrats Wildcats, party on!