Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Villanova Wildcats win NCAA Basketball National Championship in Epic Game 77-74


Villanova, the small Catholic college with about 10,000 students from Philadelphia took on the mighty North Carolina Tar Heels with about 30,000 and gave us one of the greatest national championship games in history.

Playing before 70,000 fans in Houston with millions watching on television, both teams put on an exceptional display of why college sports are so popular.  March Madness is the NCAA national championship tourney with 68 teams battling it out to see who is number one.

This season was full of upsets with numerous teams reaching number one during the season only to be beaten and it was one of few college seasons where none of the top teams finished the season unbeaten.

North Carolina is one of the legendary basketball programs in America with five national titles while Villanova has just one national title, 31 years ago, to its credit.  Of course the Tar Heels are also home to Michael Jordan whose last second shot brought them a national title.

There were no Michael Jordans in this game.  The star for the Tar Heels was a guard from Iowa but even with no marquee players, heroes were plentiful.  The Iowa guard sank a three point shot with just 4.7 seconds left in the game to tie it after Villanova had surge to a ten point led with about seven minutes to play.

In the first half North Carolina pulled ahead by seven point, but by the middle of the second half Villanova had reversed the game and were ten points ahead.  A furious run by Carolina the last five minutes resulted in the three point shot with 4.7 left to tie the game.

The Wildcats threw the ball in, their star dribbled across the half court line, then handed it back to a teammate who let fly a long three point bomb just as time ran out and the buzzer rang ending the game.  What seemed like an eternity but in fact was just fractions of a minute went by before the ball swooshed through the hoop.

As the 70,000 exploded when they realized the shot was good and the players and coaches stood momentarily in shock, confetti rained from the ceiling and the Wildcats realized they had pulled off one of the great upsets in an amazing game.

The top scorer for Villanova came off the bench to score 20 points, he only scored 25 total in the previous four games.  The hero scoring the winning bucket had a brother playing for North Carolina.  Another Villanova star was home schooled in high school by his Christian family and taught basketball by his mother.

I mention no names because this game had so many of the most unlikely heroes they all deserve credit.

Both teams should be proud and thanks Villanova for showing us giant killers still have a chance in America.


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