What an exciting time to be a fan if you’re a fan of basketball am I right? Or collegiate athletics in general. Or a fan of Villanova I would suppose as well. A game winning buzzer beater propelled the Wildcats to victory over the North Carolina Tarheels in the Men’s basketball championship not too long ago. What a thriller the final game truly turned out to be after a sub-par showing in the final four matchups. Let’s recap.
- After narrowly edging out the number one seed Kansas for a coveted slot in the Final Four, number two Villanova easily distanced themselves from the supposed threat in both Oklahoma and team leader Buddy Hield, beating the Sooners by no less than 44 points. 95-51. What a beating. Rocketing off of that momentum, you can see why the team played their hearts out against the giants at Chapel Hill. To say things went poorly for Hield would be a gross exaggeration however, as even though his team found themselves on a loser’s bus ride home, Hield netted the John Wooden Award, Naismith Player of the Year Award, and Big 12 Player of the Year. Not to mention his NBA prospects must be soaring after averaging 29 points per game in the tournament, 25 and a half throughout the season, and lead the nation in 3 point scoring as well as overall scoring. Impressive prospects to say the least, results in the tournament aside.
- On the flip side of the bracket, the Tarheels finally managed to halt the ongoing ascension of the Orange throughout the tournament, level by level. Syracuse, the undoubtedly unexpected team in the final four remaining met their match and were sent packing, although less roughly than the defeat handed to Oklahoma. Winning 83-66, the Tarheels prepared for the inevitable clash of titans in the final game of the 2015-16 school year. Syracuse however wound up closer than expected but still not getting their cigar.
Everything came down to the final few minutes of game play, then the final minute, and even still the final seconds. And Villanova finally triumphed, knocking off their second number one seed of the tournament and netting both an upset win and a championship victory. 77-74 is a close call but a win nonetheless. Neither team can really be faulted for how they played. There were mistakes here and there but it was a gritty and tough challenge and the best team in the nation took the title home. I’m a fan of tight games, except when they feature my favorite teams, and this game was a thriller.
Now, here are the results of my personal tournament picks for the year:
37-31 | C+ | I’m going to give myself a slightly above average grad for this period, as I had a middling rate of success in guessing winners, however I failed completely in the Elite Eight and beyond.