What a Game!!!
Wow. What an incredible end to the men’s NCAA basketball national championship game last night!
It was the Villanova Wildcats (a Philadelphia team) versus the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (UNC).
Many people had UNC to win it all even at the outset of the March Madness tournament.
Both teams took the lead throughout the game. And the score was 74-71 for Villanova with just a few seconds left. Then it got really interesting.
UNC’s Marcus Paige had the chance for a 3-pointer to tie the game. But he’s off balance and in the air. And not only that …
Imagine. It’s already hard enough to make that shot without the pressure he was under, but Paige who is the three-pointer record holder in the entire history of UNC, was recovering from a broken finger and seemed to have lost his touch . UNC’s coach Roy Williams said just last week about how badly it had been going for Paige: “The ball just didn’t go in the basket for him. He was standing on a beach and couldn’t throw it in the ocean.” Ouch.
But in that moment it came together for him and he sank it! The crowd and announcers went wild! Even Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player ever and a UNC alumnus, was in the stands cheering. Imagine Michael Jordan cheering for YOUR clutch basketball skills. Wow!
Now there’s only four seconds left on the clock. Villanova has one chance to make a play to either win the championship … or go into overtime.
Villanova’s star player and senior captain Ryan Arcidiacono (Arch for short), led the charge looking to make the final shot and the chance to win the game and be the hero. Like lots of kids, Arch had pretended to hit a game winning shot like this hundreds of times in his driveway, basement, and on the playground. Now he had his chance. But he didn’t have a good opening and instead he unselfishly passed it to his team mate Kris Jenkins, who went for a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end the game … and it went in! Mayhem!
They hadn’t won a championship in 30 years so it was an especially big deal.
Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacoano (pronouned: Archee-dee-ah-ka-no) was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
And one final twist.
Remember Kris Jenkins? The player who hit the 3-pointer to win the championship? His brother plays for UNC and was playing against him. Nate Britt isn’t a brother by blood or birth but the Britt family legally adopted Kris growing up because Jenkins’ own family was struggling. Wow.
The women play tonight. UConn against Syracuse. UConn is expected to dominate. And if they do, their star player Breanna Stewart will make history, winning FOUR NCAA championships in a row, the first player, male or female, to do so.