Villanova Wildcats ended a 31 year title drought by making the first 3 point buzzer winning shot in an NCAA National Basketball Championship game when Kris Jenkins received a trailing pass from Wildcats senior Ryan Arcidiacono to end the game 77-74.
The victory spoiled Carolina’s bid for a 6th title and could have been number 3 for Coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tarheels which would have allowed him to surpass his mention North Carolina Dean Smith.
Arcidiacono showed great unselfish play as he could have opted to drive the ball and take all the glory in.
Villanova Wildcats run by star point guard Arcidiacono had three plays that they are known for:
1. Ryan drives to the basket
2. Ryan kicks off to the wings
3. Pass off a trailing Kris Jenkins
These three play options were run by the Wildcats throughout the season and Ryan had full confidence on a smaller percentage shot from beyond the arc.
Arcidiacono notes — “We knew what play we were going to, We work on it every single day”.
Kris Jenkins has praise for their point guard — “For him to be so unselfish and give up the ball, it just shows what type of teammate he is”
The game was beautifully played with both teams hustling and coming back everytime the other was pulling away. With time remainig of 1 minute and 34 seconds and Villanova leading 70-64, Paige sinks a 3 point shot from the corner closing the gap by 3 – 70-67. With Arcidiacono giving up the ball from a half-court trap, Johnson sinks a bank shot from the inside to the score of 70-60.
Both teams fought hard, trading points and had the score tied at 74 all with an off-balance shot from Paige with 4.7 seconds remaining. With the Wildcats making an inbounds pass from the backcourt it was very likely that the game will go into overtime until Jenkins hit the game winning shot at the buzzer.