Villanova upended No. 1 North Carolina, 77-74, with a last-second three-pointer to take the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship Game on Monday night. It is the Wildcats’ second national title, their first coming in 1985.
Big wins to get to the final
Both teams advanced to the title game with blowout wins on Saturday. Villanova won in a 95-51 rout against No. 2 Oklahoma, while UNC cruised to an 83-66 win over No. 10 Syracuse. This is the first time that UNC and Villanova have played each other in the national championship game. UNC had a 5-1 advantage against Villanova in the NCAA tournament and lead 11-4 overall.
The Tar Heels were trying to win their sixth championship in their 10th appearance and their first since 2009. The Wildcats were trying to win their second. Their first was magical. In 1985, the first time the NCAA tournament had expanded to 64 teams, Villanova, seeded 8th, shot 78.6% from the field — still an NCAA championship record — and defeated No. 1 Georgetown 66-64.
There was another type of history associated with this year’s men’s national championship game. It’s the first time it’s on cable television. The main game broadcast is on TBS, which like CNN, is a Time Warner company.
This year, parity had been the theme in men’s college basketball.
Throughout the season, there wasn’t one dominant team. Six teams — including UNC and Villanova — have been ranked No. 1 this season. And while it was assumed that the NCAA tournament was up for grabs, Monday night’s final consisted of two of the best teams in the nation.