HOUSTON (AP) — One good shot deserved another.
Kris Jenkins of Villanova wasn't about to be outdone.
Jenkins overcame the shock of watching North Carolina's Marcus Paige hit a double-clutch 3 to tie it by spotting up behind the right side of the arc and draining a 3 of his own at the buzzer to lift Villanova to a 77-74 victory and the national championship Monday night.
What a shot — and what a game.
UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!! #NationalChampionship https://t.co/POLVkUJnpj— NCAA March Madness (@NCAA March Madness) 1459826995.0
The second-seeded Wildcats (35-5), had a six-point lead with 1:52 left, but watched it slowly trickle away. Then, it was gone, when Paige jumped — and when Ryan Arcidacono started running at him — double clutched and pumped one from beyond the arc to tie the game at 74 with 4.7 seconds left.
After a timeout, Arcidacono worked the ball upcourt and got it to Jenkins, who swished it from about two steps behind the 3-point line.
"Kris told him he was going to be open, Arch made the perfect pass," Villanova coach Jay Wright explained. "Kris lives for that moment."
2016 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions! #LetsMarchNova https://t.co/p8XsMKRoEe— Villanova MBB (@Villanova MBB) 1459827204.0
A few moments later, Jenkins was leaping over press row, hugging his family and shouting: "They said we couldn't, they said we couldn't, they said we couldn't."
Oh yes, they could.
It's Villanova's first title since 1985, when Rollie Massimino coaxed a miracle out of his eighth-seeded underdogs for a victory over star-studded Georgetown.
Hard to top this one, though.
Jenkins, who was adopted by the family of North Carolina guard Nate Britt, now has a spot with Keith Smart, Lorenzo Charles and anyone else who ever made a late game-winner to win the whole thing.
Paige finished with 21 for the top-seeded Heels (33-7), who came one agonizing shot short of giving coach Roy Williams his third national title.