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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Villanova triumphs with buzzer-beater


That one simple word was able to capture the reaction of millions of fans that watched the 2016 National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball National Championship game featuring the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the Villanova University Wildcats.

In a game that was full of lead changes and runs, it is what happened in the last 13.5 seconds that will go down in college basketball lore.

Down 74-71, North Carolina inbounded the ball and got the ball into senior guard Marcus Paige’s hands. As the clock ticked down, Paige threw up a contested, double-clutch three that rattled in to tie the game. It was those types of clutch shots that Paige had become so well known for in his career, but that amazing shot was not the one that will be remembered for the years to come.

Villanova junior guard Kris Jenkins’ shot will.

Following Paige’s shot and a Villanova timeout, the Wildcats inbounded the ball with 4.7 seconds left and had to go the length of the floor.

Villanova senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono sprinted the length of the floor before hitting a trailing Jenkins with a pass outside of the perimeter.

Jenkins set his feet for the open shot that could win the Wildcats their first National Championship since 1985.

“Gets it to Jenkins, for the Championship,” said play-by-play broadcaster Jim Nantz.


Jenkins sank the three and Villanova became the 2016 National Champions to the tune of a 77-74 final score.

“Villanova, phenomenal, the National Champions with Jenkins hitting the winner at the buzzer,” said Nantz.

Alongside Nantz’s call was color commentator Bill Raftery, who gave one of his famous “Onions” calls that refers to a game-winning shot.

“How about those Onions? A counter, double ordered, sautéed.”

Jenkins treated the shot just like any other shot.

“I think every shot is going in, so that one was no different,” said Jenkins.

In looking at the replay with Villanova head coach Jay Wright’s reaction, Wright simply said, “bang” as the shot went up. When the shot fell with literally every Villanova fan, player and coach going into hysterics, Wright, with almost no expression on his face, went to shake North Carolina head coach Roy Williams’ hand.

“I can’t wait to see that because I was just shocked,” said Wright. “They did it. Ryan Arcidiacono made a great look. Kris Jenkins has been incredible all year.”

The entire sequence was truly remarkable.

This was the first National Championship game buzzer- beater since 1983 when Dereck Whittenburg’s 30-foot heave came up short but was caught and dunked by Lorenzo Charles to win North Carolina State the National Championship over the University of Houston. Following that shot, N.C. State head coach Jim Valvano was frantically running around the court looking for someone to hug.

Just as with that scene 33 years ago, this one was also iconic.

In the postgame celebration, Arcidiacono was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player and finished the game with 16 points, two rebounds and two assists.

It was that final assist that cemented Villanova’s “One Shining Moment.”

Once again the college basketball season came to an end. In a season filled with so much parity and great moments, it only seemed fitting the National Championship end in the magnificent way that it did.

So as the 2015-2016 chapter of college basketball comes to a close, the wait begins for the next one to begin.

See you in six months, college basketball.

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Reese Setzer, Sports Editor

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