Villanova takes the title at the buzzer

Villanova takes the title at the buzzer

Aidan Segal, Staff Writer

Monday night’s National Championship in Houston was one of the most dramatic games in college basketball history. The Villanova Wildcats defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels, 77-74 with a buzzer beating 3-pointer by Kris Jenkins. This is their first championship since their heroic run in 1985.

Fans in attendance at NRG stadium saw Villanova pull off a miracle. The Tar Heels sparked a late comeback after being down by 10 with five minutes left. In the final seconds, Marcus Paige took a double clutch shot from behind the arc and managed to put it in to tie the game at 74. Paige finished with 21 points.

With 4.7 seconds left Ryan Arcidiacono took the ball down the court and passed it to Kris Jenkins and pulled the trigger. The confetti rained on the court as Jenkins’ fellow teammates mobbed him in celebration.

“Unbelievable! Unbelievable! Simply that.” Arcidiacono exclaimed. “We’ve run that play every single day in practice and we executed.”

Arcidiacono, who was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, had 16 points in his last college game. Sophomore Phil Booth added 20 points to the Villanova effort. Kris Jenkins, who was in foul trouble only played 21 minutes, finished 14 points.

Despite a heartbreaking loss for the Tar Heels, stellar performances from Joel Berry III and Marcus Paige kept the game close. Berry III had 20 points on the night and was 4 for 4 from 3-point range. Even though his late game heroics were not enough to force the game into overtime, Marcus Paige finished with 21 points.

Marcus Paige expressed his disappointment after the loss. “It’s hard because at some point tonight I have to take this jersey off and I never get to put it back on. I just have to rely on all the memories I have with my teammates.”

Bryce Johnson played his final game in a North Carolina jersey as well. He scored 14 points and picked up 8 rebounds.

Coach Roy Williams of North Carolina was handed his third National Championship loss. After the game Williams stated, “The difference in winning and losing in college basketball is so small. The difference in your feelings is so large.”

Regarding the legendary shot, Kris Jenkins said, “I think every shot is going in. So every shot I shot today I thought it was going in, so that was no different.”

Because of Kris Jenkins, Villanova now reigns as National Champions.