Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
When you think about the excitement of the weeks leading up to the biggest night in College Basketball, you know there is a lot of emotion at stake with all games and the one tonight in Houston is certainly one that will be talked about for years to come as the shot heard round the world.
Cameras caught Wright saying one word: “Bang.”
“It is still surreal,” Wright said later.
Confetti rained. Players dogpiled. It had been 31 years since Villanova’s last national title, in 1985, but the Wildcats had delivered again, 77-74, over the Tar Heels, a No. 1 seed, at NRG Stadium in front of an announced 74,340 fans who exited in delirium or disbelief.
“We knew what play we were going to,” Arcidiacono said. “We work on it every single day.”
Jenkins said, “For him to be so unselfish and give up the ball, it just shows what type of teammate he is.”
Carolina was vying for its sixth national title, and Coach Roy Williams his third, to move him into a tie for fourth on the career list with Jim Calhoun and Bob Knight. He would have surpassed his mentor, the legendary North Carolina coach Dean Smith.
“I promised them, if they do what I said, we’d come back and we’d have a chance to win the game,” Williams said. “We let Villanova have the ball last.”
Beside the final outcome, this game will go down as one of the most legendary games to hit the hardwood in a long tine, well at least since 1985 if you ask any of the Villanova fans in attendance.
But after Paige’s final heroic shot — a double-clutch 3-pointer he needed to adjust in midair — there was just enough time for one more play.
“One step, two step, shoot ‘em up, sleep in the streets,” Jenkins said, echoing a phrase his coach has used all season.
In an atrium inside the Davis Center, Villanova’s practice complex, twin 19-inch monitors inside a glass trophy case show a looping highlight montage of the 1985 men’s basketball national championship game. At the press of a button, a song can accompany it: “One Shining Moment.”