What a finish. Villanova’s last-second 77-74 win over North Carolina was one of the best NCAA title games in recent memory. Like a heavyweight fight, they went back and forth with body blows. Nova had UNC on the ropes, up by 6 with 1:52 left, when the Heels staggered off the ropes to set up the improbable last 7 seconds. I mean, really, have you ever seen back-to-back shots like that in an NCAA championship game? Not in my lifetime. Tell me you didn’t think it was a lock for overtime after Marcus Paige’s circus shot. Tell me Kris Jenkins doesn’t look like he was born to make that shot…and like a lock for success at the next level. Talent, wide-body, a soft J, and ice water in the veins.
It all got me thinking about the greatest finishes in the history of the title game (were any better?). And the biggest shots (were any bigger?).
In terms of shots, had Gordon Hayward’s half-court heave gone in against Duke in 2010 (which it was so close to doing), it would have been the biggest. But it didn’t. Kansas’ Mario Chalmers shot to send the game to OT in 2008 was huge, but not a game winner.
That leaves us with Keith Smart’s corner jumper in ’87, Lorenzo Charles’ put in to beat Phi Slamma Jamma, or…?
Was this game better than 1985 when 8-seed Villanova upset Georgetown? Or NC State’s upset over Houston? Or Texas Western’s upset of Kentucky 50 years ago in the game that changed the makeup of the game? Or, how about 1957, when North Carolina shocked Kansas and Wilt Chamberlain in triple OT?
So, was this the greatest finish ever? The biggest shot ever?
You tell me.