HOUSTON (AP) – Kris Jenkins overcame the shock of watching North Carolina’s Marcus Paige hit a double-clutch 3 to tie the scores by draining a 3 of his own at the buzzer to lift Villanova to a 77-74 victory and the national championship Monday night.
What a shot – and what a game.
The second-seeded Wildcats (35-5), had a six-point lead with 1:52 left, but watched it slowly trickle away. Then, it was gone, when Paige jumped – and when Ryan Arcidacono started running at him – double clutched and pumped one from beyond the arc to tie the game at 74 with 4.7 seconds left.
After a timeout, Arcidacono worked the ball up court and got it to Jenkins, who swished it from about two steps behind the 3-point line.
“I think every shot’s going in,” Jenkins said, “and this one was no different.”
The shot came on a play Villanova works on every day in practice: Jenkins inbounds the ball to Arcidiacono, he works it up court and forward Daniel Ochefu sets a pick near halfcourt to clutter things up, then Arcidiacono creates.
“I didn’t have to say anything in the huddle,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “We have a name for it, that’s what we’re going to do. Just put everybody in their spots.”