Junior forward Kris Jenkins hit a three at the buzzer, and No. 2 seed Villanova won the NCAA men’s basketball national championship in thrilling fashion over No. 1 seed North Carolina, 77-74, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
It’s the first buzzer-beater on a three-pointer in national championship history. Villanova also became the first team to win the national championship game on a buzzer-beater since N.C. State defeated Houston 54-52 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1983. Monday’s game marked the 33rd anniversary of that 1983 championship game.
The win is Villanova’s second championship in program history, the first coming in 1985. It’s also the first championship for head coach Jay Wright, his first appearance in a national title game.
UNC senior guard Marcus Paige’s acrobatic three-point shot with 4.7 seconds remaining had given UNC life, tying it at 74. Jenkins, who finished the night with 16 points, snuffed out UNC’s hopes of a sixth championship with a dagger as the horn sounded.
Senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who set up Jenkins for the game-winner, was named Most Outstanding Player. He finished with 16 points.
The Wildcats won their first national championship in since 1985, which is the second-longest drought between titles.
Eight Villanova fans were arrested during celebrations following the game, while a number of injuries were reported: Thirty-seven people were treated at an area triage center; seven people were also transported to a local hospital.