Men’s college basketball fans critical of the game’s recent poor quality of play, best highlighted by Saturday’s back-to-back Final Four blowouts, were quieted Monday with one of the greatest championship games in NCAA history, thanks to Villanova and North Carolina.
With the score tied and time expiring, junior forward Kris Jenkins nailed a 3-pointer, giving the Villanova Wildcats (35-5) the 77-74 edge over the North Carolina Tar Heels (33-7). Jenkins, wearing a Wildcats-inspired colorway of the Nike Kyrie 2, posted 14 points for the night on 6-of-11 shooting, including going 2-of-4 from long range.
Post-game, the Wildcats stormed Houston’s NRG Stadium court in a number of Nike’s best basketball silhouettes in Villanova colors, including the Kobe 11, Kobe 10 Elite, KD8, and the Zoom HyperRev 2016.
Sophomore guard Phil Booth led the Wildcats in scoring, posting 20 points off the bench, including going a perfect 2-for-2 from behind the arc. Senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono led all Villanova starters in scoring with 16 points, also grabbing two rebounds and dishing out two assists in the win.
Although its tough to top Jenkins’ stellar game-winning moment, Villanova coach Jay Wright might have done so. Cameras caught the coach whispering “bang” to himself before turning around and walking away calmly as the guard hoisted the winning shot.
The women’s championship game will take place tonight, with the University of Connecticut Huskies taking on the Syracuse Orange at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.