Before Kris Jenkins’s Shot, There Was Ryan Arcidiacono’s Pass

Arcidiacono’s unselfishness set up the winning basket by Jenkins as Villanova won the N.C.A.A. championship.

Comments: 169

  1. The lead guys and white guys all hugging each other. Oh, that society were the same way.

  2. The lead guys and white guys all hugging each other. Oh, that society were the same way.

  3. It's not a matter of them being black or white. Rather, I see them as teammates who were aligned around a shared goal. And because they looked past the most obvious things—such as race—they were able to accomplish what they set out to do. What would be remarkable if society were to act THAT way.

  4. Steven S....Patrick said exactly what you said, except much more eloquently.

  5. That is a part of society.

  6. Selflessness. Teamwork. Trust. Sports. So happy for Nova and those kids.

  7. Selflessness. Teamwork. Trust. Sports. So happy for Nova and those kids.

  8. The sportsmanship exhibited by all concerned was remarkable.

    Sportsmanship. We complain when it's lacking; but rarely celebrate its practice.

  9. The sportsmanship exhibited by all concerned was remarkable.

    Sportsmanship. We complain when it's lacking; but rarely celebrate its practice.

  10. No, I think everyone appreciates good sportsmanship. We usually call someone a "classy" player or say a team "plays the game the right way," but it's all sportsmanship.

  11. Good basketball players do what comes naturally when they see an open man; they pass the ball.

  12. Good basketball players do what comes naturally when they see an open man; they pass the ball.

  13. It's been touch nd go sall season....HAPPY ENDING!! Congrats VU!

  14. It's been touch nd go sall season....HAPPY ENDING!! Congrats VU!

  15. As a born and bred Hoosier who grow up on the concepts of Indiana team basketball, I'm delighted to see the success of teams like San Antonio and Golden State in the NBA and those like Butler, Gonzaga, Villanova -- heck, even Yale! -- at the college level. The colleges and NBA are full of great athletes. Great TEAMS, not so much. I just wish more top-tier college teams were composed of three- and four-year players who've learned to work together over a period of two or three years together, especially for playing defense. Those are the teams that get and keep my attention. Carmelo, LeBron, five freshmen McDonald's All-Americans at Kentucky --- ho hum.

  16. As a born and bred Hoosier who grow up on the concepts of Indiana team basketball, I'm delighted to see the success of teams like San Antonio and Golden State in the NBA and those like Butler, Gonzaga, Villanova -- heck, even Yale! -- at the college level. The colleges and NBA are full of great athletes. Great TEAMS, not so much. I just wish more top-tier college teams were composed of three- and four-year players who've learned to work together over a period of two or three years together, especially for playing defense. Those are the teams that get and keep my attention. Carmelo, LeBron, five freshmen McDonald's All-Americans at Kentucky --- ho hum.

  17. And UVA!

  18. this should be required reading for every basketball team. what a game

  19. Villanova is a catholic university as has been noted. But, it is the Augustinian Order, in particular. Their values permeate the entire institution, from the first day on campus, visible in Fr. Peter, who sits on the team bench and travels with them. The unselfishness and bonds that were visible in the final game are part of Villanova culture,not just in men's basketball.
    My son graduated from 'Nova in 2004, and is now a successful physician, an anesthesiologist.

  20. I could have used your son's expertise getting to sleep last night after watching that game.

  21. The game was certainly a classic, from Paige's amazing acrobatic shot, to Arcidiacono's level headed pass, and Jenkins last moment game winner. But I'll also never forget, between those great shots, during the last time out, Daniel Ochefu grabbing the mop from the kid and mopping the floor himself, in the middle of all the tension. I found that to be both amusing and delightful, a nice comic grace note to the tumultuous events. And congrats to the 'Cats!

  22. Arcidiacono is a pure point guard, the whole team an extension of his fingertips. That pass just as much his instictive shot adjustment as the double clutch by Paige. Thank you to both teams for the marvel.

  23. Yes, we should thank both teams for the marvel.

    It would be better if we could thank both universities for paying the kids what they're worth for playing basketball.

    Instead, the kids who provided all that entertainment for the millions and millions got zilch. Nada of the take.

    If that doesn't leave a bad taste I don't know what does.

  24. At Villanova, where athletes actually go to class and graduate, they get an education, for free.

  25. Schools should, on an open accounting basis, put much of the TV revenue into a general fund that keeps costs down for the entire student body. NOT PAY THE PLAYERS

  26. Class players, class coach, class team - it just doesn't get any better than this. Arcidiacono will long be remembered in the same breath as Jenkins for the selflessness and the decision making that led to the win. Booth will be remembered for his performance, but we won't forget his Jay Wright inspired class move against Oklahoma near the end of the game when he took the ball back out, passing up an easy dunk. No, we won't forget. This team bears the mark of a coach who is as humble as he is talented, a team of kids who play FOR him as well as FOR each other, and a group of families who have sacrificed beyond their own imagination to see their kids' dreams fulfilled in the best possible way. Thanks, Cats!

  27. I'll be impressed if the coach is not the highest paid employee of the university AND his salary has no more than six figures and starts with a one or a two. If not it's the same old same old indentured servitude .001% stuff.

    I watched the interview of the coach who got beat by 45 points the other day and noted his calm. I was struck by the elephant in the room, that the coach most likely makes in one day of work more than the reporter in a year.

    The coach should have said, "why should I worry, you know how much money I made today? Or the bonus I got for getting here? What's to worry about, they can't fire me for a few years, and I'm pulling in millions and am a god on campus"
    I'll be impressed with sports when the reporters stop being fan boys and ask hard questions, now they are either poorly paid cheerleaders or suckers. Or both. But journalists? Not so much.

  28. One selfless act is all it takes.

  29. A question for someone knowledgeable ...

    After Arcidiacono passes, he crosses over in FRONT of Jenkins. Why wouldn't he cross behind ? It seems to me that he could have been a distraction to Jenkins as well as putting his defender in Jenkins' path.

  30. it's a screen, preventing the tar heel from blocking the shot.

  31. Crossing behind him would bring his defender right into Jenkins.

  32. Running in front he screens the UNC player waiting to pick up Jenkins (Hicks) from being able to get a hand in Jenkins' face and actually helps him get a better look a the basket.

  33. Selfless. Excellent.

  34. Arcidiacono is the very definition of a selfless point guard. He may not have a career in the NBA but the NBA needs more intelligent players like him.

  35. You can see at the end of the game why Arcidiacono was named Most Outstanding Player. He handled himself beautifully. He got the ball down the court, he pressed the defense, and, when he saw his teammate had a better shot, gave the ball to him. And, in doing so, he focused the attention on himself as he brought the ball up, leaving Jenkins to be free for a great shot. The whole 'Nova team should be proud of playing a great team game.

  36. Thank you Villanova and UNC! The afterglow of this game is with us this morning in Whitefish, Montana. Funny how folks don't follow much basketball here in this small town, but last night everyone at The Great Northern was sucked into the game. When Jenkins hit that historic three point buzzer beater, there was a collective cheer and a dance. Where's Villanova, people were asking.

  37. This is a final won by a team that was truly selfless. They have been a "team together" for the past four years and it culminated in that one shining moment when Ryan gave up the ball to Kris who brought that long sought after championship that Ryan worked so hard to win. His selflessness will go down in history. I guarantee that he will be a college basketball coach some day and will win again from the sidelines. I go back to the Big Five era of Philadelphia basketball and attended many of those Big Five doubleheaders at The Palestra. Aside from the 1966 NCAA final, this 1986 victory is one for the ages.

  38. I attended college out on the Mainline (way back when) and I loved those Palestra double-headers too!

  39. Not sure what you mean about the 1966 & this 1986 victory ,,? Either way this win was awesome and this Article was right on point

  40. Both teams led by seniors. How refreshing!

    It's what college basketball is supposed to be.

  41. Villanova has a classy coach and his players play with class. The end of the Oklahoma game was a perfect example -- Villanova had the game in hand and yet when the camera looked to the Villanova bench there was no swaggering, high fives, laughing etc. just a bunch of guys sitting there watching the game and acting as though they had been there before and would be there again and didn't need to do anything to "show" the world that they'd stomped on the rival team -- the score said it all.

  42. Humble kids + humble coach + smart and unselfish pass + great shot = win for the ages.

  43. Looking back, I can't believe that this was a relatively high scoring college basketball game. It seemed every shot was contested, each make hard fought, every rebound earned. Yet it was not a 50-48 game. Two very good teams ,two great coaches. No player seemed overwhelmed by the setting. I hope the NC players get past this soon and realize that they were winners just for having been part of a game so well played,so surgical. When they show this film to their grandkids , they should do so proudly.

  44. I do not follow college sports. Too many pros. But this is really one of those stories that needs be told -- college athletes acting as a team and true unselfish behavior in a "look at me" world. And in this vein of thought, 12 comments on this article while hundreds are posted about the inane antics of the pros, the politicos, the whomever. That silence speaks volumes.

  45. Wonderful story, class and style at every level, the school the coach the players. Great character.

  46. I didn't watch the game and only looked up the winning shot online this morning because I heard it was great. Watched the last 30 seconds three times, grinning ear to ear, and I don't even follow college basketball. Walked away and said to my husband, "That kid that got the last possession and passed the ball won that game for them just as much as Jenkins did. He could have lost the ball or taken a shot and missed under all that pressure but he passed it to the right guy." I am so glad to see this article giving Arcidiacono the credit he deserves. Congratulations to both teams!

  47. May be our political leaders on both sides of aisle could learn something from Mr. .Arcidiacono.

  48. I wish. The only passing they know is passing the buck.

  49. Mythology perpetuated; only one side of the aisle is intransigent. The Democrats, especially Obama, tried exceedingly hard to work with the gop, only to be snubbed by the extremists and the greedists who now rule the grand old party (lowercase intentional) which now led by Trump.

  50. Later, Paige, a senior, fought back tears while his lower lip quivered, saying he had been sure the Tar Heels could win the game in overtime."

    Yeah. Right. Does this shake come with fries?

  51. No one is taking anything away from Jenkins but sometimes not doing what is expected can have a greater impact. If you look at the final sequence Arch was not in the best position, Jenkins was. A guard is supposed to get the ball to the open man or take the shot himself if he has the better shot. It was a very selfless play which is rare indeed these days and Arch deserves the same if not more credit than Jenkins although when the history of the game is written it will be Jenkins whom everyone remembers.

  52. Not to take away from Arcidiacono's sportsmanship and ability to be a team player, but it seems odd that he is the lead in this story. Can't a black guy ever be the hero? It was Jenkins, after all, who made the shot.

  53. You could just read every one of the thousand other stories written about the play. This one is about Arcidiacono.

  54. Right? But it's cool that the crowd was yelling "Jen-kins, Jen-kins, Jen-kins..."

  55. The game was legendary. I'm not normally a college hoops fan, but I have to say it was one of the greatest sporting events I've ever witnessed. As such, I was eager to see the press coverage today. Plenty of ink on Jenkins, the coach, even the students celebrating. This is the FIRST, and so far only, article that focused on Arcidiacono. He deserves it. Amazing play.

  56. There were no losers last night – I had to say it. This game had all the intangibles and subplots that made it, arguably, the greatest National Championship game of all time.

    Consider the story of the two brothers, Villanova’s Kris Jenkins, adopted by North Carolina junior Nate Britt’s mother in 2007, who happens to hit the final shot that breaks his brother’s heart. Or consider in the crowd, the old basketball coach, Rollie Massimino, who coached Villanova to a shocking upset of the mighty Hoyas of Georgetown, led by Patrick Ewing in 1985. Or consider Michael Jordan in the crowd and his interview with Craig Sager who is battling cancer, and Michael asking, “How you feeling?” and then saying, “It’s good to see you, brother.”

    Then consider the game with its ebbs and flows, and the incredible double-pump shot by Paige to tie the game, then Jenkins’ improbable game ending shot. What a game!

  57. Wow. Just wow. A seriously standout athlete. Congrats on doing it so well! Really.

    That said, I don't care. Dunking a ball into a hoop one million times to perfection is a relative waste of time, and with his obvious talents could've done something much more interesting and productive for himself and his college. It's a stupid human trick a la Letterman.

    Villanova is a Catholic school that condones Middle Age philosophy of female subjegation, no LGBT rights, etc. Its students need to think deeper than sports. It ain't no thang.

    Sorry to be a kill joy when, for God's sake, they WON the ball contest!

  58. You sound like you are a feminist.

  59. You're kind of dissing physical talents in favor of intellectual ones. Pretty soon we'll all be plasma blobs in globes with wires.

  60. Well STOP THE PRESSES. asg, please provide detailed information to the NYT about the other things you don't care about so they can adjust their coverage accordingly.

  61. The team won this game. Ochefu set the pick. Arch found the open shooter. Jenkins hit the shot. The team won.

  62. How fitting that the Finals greatest play ever took place under the watchful gaze of the games greatest player ever. Michael Jordan's approving smile at the final buzzer spoke volumes.

  63. I don't think MJ was smiling when UNC lost.

  64. Arcidiacono did a good job of bringing the ball up the court, he dribbled past Jenkins and directly at Jenkins' defender forcing the defender to back off, then Arcidiacono whirled and passed the ball back to Jenkins, who was stopped, firmly planted and in the clear with time to get off his shot, which he did, just barely, over the on-rushing up-stretched hands of the defender, to make the shot and win the game. To take the shot himself, Arcidiacono would have had to find a clear spot and get to it, stabilize himself and shoot, all in less than a second.

    I don't want to rain on the parade here, but this was more an example of smart play than of unselfish behaviour.

  65. It can be smart play and unselfish both, no?

  66. To the practiced eye, he's a great dribbler for 6'-3. UNC never tried to seriously press, he got through easily.

  67. They're not mutually exclusive. Hand me an umbrella.

  68. The greatest basketball game I have ever seen. What a nerve-racking ending. Congratulations to both teams on a gutsy effort and Villanova for pulling it out.

  69. How fitting that the Finals greatest play ever took place under the attentive gaze of the games greatest player ever. Michael Jordan's appreciative smile and slight nod at the final buzzer spoke volumes.

  70. 4.7 seconds. Tens of millions watching. All the momentum back with NC as the most improbable, NBA-length, double-clutching 3 somehow found home to complete a 10-point comeback and tie the game. A daunting OT looming.

    The ultimate test of character, not just of a player or two, but the entire team. Could they keep their composure? Could they run a play or would they wilt into chaos? Would the last shot be a desperate heave-ho? Would they even get off a shot?

    But run a play they did, and with near-perfect execution.
    Ochefu sets the screen (on the very spot he had just mopped dry).
    Arch brushes his man off to gain half a step of space and force help.
    Jenkins trails the ball handler instead of just spectating.
    He calls out "Arch, Arch, Arch!"
    Not a moment of hesitation, no hint of selfishness, no personal glory seeking, just a simple light dish, so easy to catch in rhythm.
    And then the smooth, unhurried, arching shot. Bang. 3. Champions!
    And though the shot will never be forgotten, it's the play, the composure, the demonstration of character, and team first and only attitude that will stay with this viewer forever. That's basketball and team sport at its finest.
    Congratulations Villanova and Coach Jay Wright. You earned it.

  71. Your comment reads like poetry.

  72. THIS is why college sports ROCK!!!! How exciting was that game? And the final two minutes? And the game-winning shot? Too awesome for words.

  73. Seeing so many stories today that hype up Ryan Arcidiacono and treat Kris Jenkins as an afterthought. Hmm, what could be the reason for that?

  74. If you had watched his play throughout the tournament, you would know the reason. One of the most precise, tough and outstanding performances in NCAA tournament history. His defense and court awareness is superb. A great basketball player.

  75. ReaderNJ, you can't just make these claims of systemic racism in covering this game based on blatantly incorrect facts. Who's on the cover of Sports Illustrated? Who was on Mike & Mike and the Today Show following the victory? Have you even seen the coverage, or does everything need to be race? Please, provide some basis for your cavalier accusations.

  76. Pestering, smothering defense and unconditional, unselfish team play -- it was a joy to watch. Congratulations to Coach Wright and the entire Villanova team.

  77. Phenomenal game played by two excellent, classy teams, with the best part being that each team performed in the clutch. Two questions, though. First, the version of "One Shining Moment" that aired on TBS immediately following the game was basically a North Carolina highlight film, with Jenkins' winning shot and the Carolina players' reaction tacked on at the end. What was that all about? Second, has the NCAA mandated that during the post game interviews, the players be referred to only as "student athletes," even when being forced to drink from "Powerade" paper cups?

  78. Bit of a strange article.

    He made the correct decision by passing it. Had he not passed to Jenkins, he'd have taken an off balance 3 attempt. Had he missed, he would have been crucified.

    It was still a difficult shot for Jenkins, that was a long 3.

  79. Damien ,,,You obviously don't know how politics has to get into everything now.

    See this is all about sharing and that's what Liberals are pressing now.. Even if you loose.
    Arch wanted to win and made the right decision.

  80. "See this is all about sharing and that's what Liberals are pressing now.. Even if you loose."

    ...right... except this is the exact opposite of the scenario Damien describes.

  81. Better than brilliant shots are brilliant assists - this is the very thing that made Red Auerbach's Celtics teams so good, year after year. I keep waiting for another NBA team to discover this. And waiting. And waiting...

  82. No waiting necessary. Watch The Dubs play team basketball, creating 30 assists a game. They play the way the game it's supposed to be played...or at least that's what I was taught as a kid.

    Of course I couldn't dunk ,-).

  83. A shame that under current practice, not ONE of the athletes in this series will be seriously considered for the US Men's Olympic Basketball team until they become professional NBA players, a devil's deal apparently all too common with the USOC. Why I no longer support their please for training money, why I no longer watch Olympic competition, and why I am deeply saddened that these young people are only viewed by the USOC as "how much money can we make off of them without actually allowing them to play alongside the professional Olympic Athletes??"

  84. You call it a shame, I'd call the decision to allow pros in the Olympics long overdue. The Olympics is supposed to be about the best in the world, pro or amateur.

  85. Great game, but why is the media so focused on the white guy. He's good, but he didn't actually dunk it. Last night the cameraman kept concentrating on him too as the media has throughout this tournament. Come on media...the team won this game, not the white kid!

  86. Did you see the screen that Arci made to prevent the shot from being contested? He gets focus because of how many times he has come through over the last four years. Great TEAM win.

  87. That's the point; they played as a team; 'till the last and final play. What "the white guy did" is atypical in today's sport, for white and black players. Did ya read the end of this piece where three Villanova players, two black, commented on what "the white guy" was supposed to do, but didn't ??

  88. Absolutely, the Team won the game, not the white kid. But the white kid did win most valuable player and his overall play which resulted in that just might have had something to do with the media concentrating on him.... Ya think?

  89. Well done, Villanova, from a KU fan!!

  90. It was one of the greatest games I have ever seen. What a wonderful game from start to finish. On thinking about it today, it is worth noting that the last plays of the game - amazing shot by Marcus Paige and the play of Ryan Arcidiacono and Kris Jenkins - were all made by upperclassmen. So much for the one and dones. Great moments from two fantastic teams who believe in the word TEAM. Thanks to them for a game for the ages.

  91. If you're a talented freshman and eating top ramen two times a day then have the opportunity to change your circumstances overnight by signing a hefty contract, good for you - lost profits by the NCAA notwithstanding.

  92. I wonder what Donald Trump would think of Ryan Arcidiacono's passing the ball to Kris Jenkins. No confidence? No certitude? Loser?

    I doubt that the concept of sacrificing a moment of personal glory for the longer-lasting and greater good ever occurs to Mr. Trump, but that choice on Mr. Arcidiacono's part demonstrates an understanding of the value of teamwork that puts him a very, very different class from the self-serving braggart.

  93. Robert,,,Somebody told me Trump had 1000's of employees.
    Pretty big tea if you ask me.

  94. You've got to be kidding me. Can't we have one moment of pleasure, as here with this wonderful game, without a reference to Trump.

    Your injection of this non sequitor here makes me think that you are more like him the not.

  95. I always wonder what motivates people to try to make political points by commenting on sports stories.

    Anyway, it was a well designed play executed to win. Trump would say it is the result of hard work and preparation.

  96. I heard one of the Villanova players say they practice that play everyday.

    But that would ruin the "unselfishness" narrative.

  97. They run the play. That doesn't mean the same player takes the shot every time. There's a whole article on it - read it!

  98. They practice that play with various endings, with the most preferred being that Arcidiacono shoot the ball. He did not. He made the best team choice.

  99. They practice different permutations of that play everyday, with option #1 always being that Arch takes the shot.

  100. A buzzer beating championship shot. It is the dream of many players, an opportunity afforded to only a few players, and the result of dedicated teamwork and exeperience.

    One shining moment above all others, for sure.

  101. an instant legend(s) has arisen ...
    the penultimate TEAM victory ...
    a great experience for all to share ...

  102. The season's over so how can this be penultimate?

  103. OK. What was the ultimate team victory?

  104. Penultimate: To quote Indigo Montoya, "I do not think that word means what you think it means."
    DEF: "next-to-last, second-to-last, second-last"

  105. You play like you practice. Note, they did not panic. There was enough time to get a good look and a shot. Remember the coach said they practice for these kinds of scenarios all season long. Fortunately, Jenkins was in position when Arc heard, then saw him open. The pass was perfect, too. It was all in one fluid motion. Even the position of the seams, rotation on the ball and follow through were textbook. I knew as soon as he released it, it was going in. Nothing but net, just like he practiced.

  106. Not a selfless act. It was a well designed play, and Ryan Arcidiacono executed it perfectly by seeing the open man as the best option to score with 2 ticks left. It's like the triple option in football. The QB makes a split second decision based on what he sees around him. Well disciplined teamwork, created by a great coach and an excellent team.

  107. Yes. The whole point is to put the ball into the basket. He made the correct play to provide the best shot. Nothing heroic or exceptional, just great awareness and execution. What looked heroic to me was the UNC shot just seconds before this play.

  108. With so much negativity and greed around sports these days, it was gratifying to read this.

  109. How fitting that The Finals greatest play ever unfolded under the gaze of the games greatest player ever.

    As the final shot dashed UNC's hopes, Michael Jordan's sly smile and approving nod spoke volumes about gentlemanly rivalry.

  110. What is even more subtle about what Arcidiancono did was that after he passed it to Jenkins, he cut in front of him, effectively making it impossible for any defender to get to him. That's having your head in the game and I wish more saw it because it is often those little things that enable the big things to happen.

  111. This proves (again) when a team works together, they won together. Whether it was an unselfish play or a set play, they trusted each other and they supported each other. That's how teams win. A great lesson for any organization! Well done Villanova.

  112. Well, it wasn't entirely an unselfish move. I loved this NOVA team and Arcidiacono, but if he were to shoot the three, he'd have two people directly on him making it a near-impossible shot. He had high basketball IQ and timed it very well, but it's silly to attribute the shot entirely to selflessness. Nevertheless, this was the best championship game in a very long while and ended the tyrannical reign of dominant ACC teams.

  113. Jenkins had a better angle on the shot and was more open. He's just as good a 3-pt. shooter as Arcidiacono. If the pass hadn't been made, it would have been a glaring error. Jenkins was the last second hero. The pass was routine. Is there a reason that a routine pass is getting as much play here as a fantastic clutch shot?

  114. Because it was done by a player who for all intents and purposes should have taken the shot. But instead he passed. At that moment. It was the right play to make and Villanova won because of it. Plus it was just a beautiful hand-off, like it came from a silver platter, that kept the shooter in his rhythm. To people like me, who as a player on my driveway always valued the pass and the rebound, it was as special as the shot.

  115. Lets back up. Watch the tape. Arcidiacono crossed to the right, in front of the UNC defenders and gave Jenkins the clearing. The shot was the easy part. Finding a man open and providing a mini moving sreen for him was the tough part.

  116. Archidiacano is an outstanding player who made an outstanding play. However, Michjas and Seneca are exactly correct. The only intelligent play was for him to pass the ball to Jenkins. Had he kept the ball, his likelihood of succeeding were very small as replays show clearly. Though we'll never know, I would bet that any Tar Heel or any other Nova would have made the same pass - because they're both very well coached teams.

  117. I wish I could have the seen the game of Channel 2. I can't afford cable or live stream. It's egregious that an organization like the NCAA would not show it for free. The same holds true for other sports, where one has to pay to see a Dodgers game on tv or the net. C'mon, it's Vince Scully's last year. Why be so greedy.

  118. The game was a tear jerker. So is this post. While so much of Old America still pumps through our veins, much of the new America is cold and calculating and synthetic. I loved the Final. Thanks Nova and NC. I can't help but wonder if today's corporate Kings love the game like I did when I learned about baseball from Vin Scully over the radio in the 1960's. g.i., you do deserve better. People like you built the LA sports Empire. The guys in charge will be sorry if they ignore people like you. Good Luck. God Bless.

  119. I signed up for a free trial of Sling tv to watch it but I agree....

  120. What a great team. They really worked together and trusted each other. It works great in sports and everything else in life. Ochefu was a beast and deserves much more props. His floor mopping showed he was all in on this game.

    This was a designed play and Arcidiacono made the smart decision. He was a bit off balance and was being converged on by two defenders so he trusted his teammate and gave up the ball knowing his teammate would get a better look. Kris Jenkins was ready and delivered. Unfortunately for UNC they lost track of the inbounder (i.e. Jenkins) which is a defensive mistake but kudos to Villanova for taking advantage. Overall a great game with a bunch of great kids from both teams.

  121. Bravo to a great game and winning the old school way, namely with hard play and teamwork.

  122. I contrast this selflessness with another article today Mr Staggs leaving Disney. In that article, the company accomplishments were portrayed as by one man, "... Mr. Staggs more than doubled theme park operating profit". But when I re-watch this great shot at the end of the NCAA Basketball Championship game and I am reminded that all great accomplishments come from a team and not an individual. These kids are role models. We need more like them. Fantastic.

  123. Kudos to the Villanova team. Especial KUDOS to Ryan Arcidocono who showed what it means to be a team player putting his teammates above himself.

  124. Last night was pure poetry in motion. Congratulations, Villanova -- your victory was incredible! And this is coming from a Carolina alum. Kudos to both teams' players, especially Chris Jenkins and Marcus Paige. You made the final seconds of the championship game so amazing to watch!!

  125. Why does the slant of this article have to be about Arcidiacono. Every kid who loves basketball dreams of winning the game at the buzzer. Clearly, in the real world, Arcidiacono didn't want to take the shot. If he did, he would have taken it. Instead, he gave the ball to Kris Jenkins and Mr. Jenkins buried it. Mr. Jenkins has a much more interesting and inspirational personal story to tell. Too bad, the author of the article, Juliet Macur, didn't ask him about it.

    As an aside, Mr. Jenkins' mother, Felicia Jenkins, was quoted in the article, "It’s all about the follow through. When I saw that follow through, I knew it was going in.” She would know. Ms. Jenkins taught her son how to shoot a basketball. As part of the training, she never let him take a shot outside the paint until he was ten years old.

    Arcidiacono is an excellent basketball player. That's why he passed the ball to Kris Jenkins to win the game at the buzzer.

  126. Jenkins got the credit in the stories this morning. I was surprised that no one made comment about who made the play, and also moved across the front of Jenkins allowing him room from the defenders as they rushed out. We can disagree about whose story is more interesting or inspirational. Arcidiacono made the play that won the game and Jenkins made the shot.

  127. Italians not known for their basketball prowess. Arcidiacono, is a playmaker first and a shooter second. He gave up the ball to a teammate with an uncontested shot. Brilliant, unselfish play.

  128. You should read the Times more thoroughly, or think about the nature of digital coverage, or maybe watch the press conference after the game. The initial articles foregrounded Jenkins, as did Sports Illustrated etc, including the well-used quote you mention from his mom, and he got many more questions in the post-game press conference than Arcidiacono. (Poor Ochefu got one question, which touched on his mop, but not from this angle.) What you're complaining about is normal second day coverage, when writers are working on different angles not covered initially.

    Also, you seem to miss the entire point of the article - and several others -when you disbelieve Arcidiacono's comment that he dreamed his whole life about taking that shot, but lateraled to Jenkins because he had a better look; "I just did what we do."

    Is it so hard to wrap your head around the idea that teamwork can trump the tired myth of the determined individual overcoming all odds blah blah?

  129. ...and before the pass, there was a really great shot by Marcus Paige of UNC.

  130. This story made me teary. Can young men like this become mature while continuing this kind of teamwork in whatever careers and family lives they choose? with the courage and sense of community that allows them to physically and mentally respond, even in clutch moments--with choices for the greater good? and how can we make more young men like this? Don't we need millions more everywhere?

  131. What a game!
    How many kids that age, especially any that already had an NBA contract in their pocket, would pick up a mop and wipe sweat of the floor on national TV?
    Smart bunch of kids who will do well at whatever they put their minds to.
    Congratulations to both teams and good luck in the future.

    Kudos to both sides for the absence of showboating. If only the NBA....

  132. Hey, what's up with the T-shirts? Give those young men some of the profits.

    Way ta gooo Villanova.

  133. What a remarkable game - maybe the best national championship ever. I'm still enjoying thinking about it a day later. So very happy to witness Jay Wright's first championship, won his way with teamwork, toughness, style and class - a testimony to a great coach and a fabulous team. Congratulations Villanova!!!

  134. Fabulous reporting/writing thank you!

  135. I was actually rooting for the Tar Heels but wasn't at all upset that Villanova won it. I saw how those boys balled through the tournament and knew they were a tough team. This is the first time in a long time I got the finalist right on my bracket. Now about the shot... It was clutch! It was remarkable and we3ll executed. At the same time Arcidiacono does receive as much credit as this article gives him. Watching it live I knew they had it all drawn up for Arcidiacono to take the shot because he was hot all night well actually all tournament. His awareness in the game cannot be overlooked. If it wasn't for that little lane crossing that Arcidiacono did when dishing it off to Jenkins that shot could have been better contested thus making the shot just as difficult.

  136. I am so happy that you got it. The handoff was the news. What's fun about this is you knew it. You watched that kid hand off and you knew it would make history, drop in or not. The kid who handed off would make history because he gave it up. Hotshot sportswriters say college basketball is boring because they can't make the 3-point shots. No. Pro basketball is boring because they can. My wife and I saw two incredible games, one Wisconsin, the other this. As to pro ball, give them each a hundred points and then begin. Whoever makes the first basket wins. Ho hum. God bless the children.

  137. Not many people posting here, except Haris Ghayur and a couple others, nor the TV and radio commentators saw the same game I saw! Except for their field goal percentage, Villanova barely resembled the team that embarrassed Oklahoma, and North Carolina had their inevitable off night after 5 exceptional games in a row, except for their unusually productive 3 point shooting. Yes, it had a dramatic ending, brought on by four 8th grade level trips down the court in which foolish play resulted in no points or offensive rebounds for Villanova, and allowed N.C. to cut the 10 point lead to 3. Archie made a bonehead play in that series of trips, and two other Wildcats missed free throws that would have prevented the last second drama. This allowed N.C. to bring the ball up the court with about 8 seconds left and Villanova up by three. Obviously in that situation Villanova only needed to play stingy, time consuming defense, without fouling, and give away a two point basket but prevent any open three pointers! N.C hit the 3 to tie it. I have no doubts that once Archie took the inbound pass he fully intended to take the last shot, which is what N.C. expected. Thanks to one lucid, unselfish moment by Archie, he realized that he had no chance at a clear shot, and that N.C. had foolishly left equally effective Jenkins wide open! Archie gave up his chance at personal glory and passed the ball to Jenkins.

  138. It wasn't a selfless act. The repercussions of Arcidiacono attempting the shot and missing it would have been catastrophically worse for him than any lost glory from a teammate making the shot.

  139. I think if he doubted himself that much, he would have long ago self-selected himself out of elite level basketball.

  140. He wasn't open, Kris was, hence, the pass.

  141. Not only the pass, but he cut in front of Jenkins to shield him from the defense and give him an uncontested shot.

  142. About time someone pointed it out. Beautiful.

  143. Shooting percentages increase after a pass, an 'assist', I'd bet. Not only because the passer usually gives the ball to an open teammate but because the teammate feels and benefits from the confidence demonstrated in them. Villanova was already shooting 'lights out' last night. Great pass, great shot, great game.

  144. Great comment.

  145. This is what Kris Jenkins said "“Arch was supposed to shoot it because he’s a senior and that’s what seniors do when the final game’s on the line,” Jenkins said. “But he gave it to me, and I really can’t believe it. It just shows what kind of person he is. All my teammates do a great job in giving me confidence. We don’t care who gets the credit, don’t care who shines. We all just want to win.”
    No matter how you dissect it it was the best team-work that won the game!!
    Congrats Nova!!

  146. But the final game wasn't "on the line" with Jenkins shot. The worst outcome was an OT period. And Jenkins has more years to play.

    Marcus Paige's shot however had much more on the line, and is therefore much more impressive.

  147. Chris Rock has this joke about people taking credit for things they should be doing anyway, like taking care of their kids. Arcidiacono played a great game, had a great tourney, but he's supposed to pass the ball to the open man! Let's not hyperbole this kid into stardom. His skills will do that.

  148. An awful lot of emphasis (in the article and in the comments) on a single pass, with Villanova being assumed (by many) to be a unique example of teamwork based on a single play.

    Hard to escape the irony that Villanova had only 5 other assists in the entire game, whereas Carolina had over 2.5 times as many (16).

  149. I certainly appreciate the article's focus on the praiseworthiness of teamwork. Particularly at the amateur level, selflessness should be appreciated. But it sticks in my craw a bit that there is an article focusing on the white guy who didn't win the game instead of the black guy who did. Just saying'.

  150. I could not agree more.

  151. OK.... 37 minutes vs. 21 minutes
    16 points vs 14
    6 of 9 vs 6 of 11 (FG)
    2 of 3 vs 2 of 4 (3 PT)
    2 0f 2 vs 0 for 1 (FT)
    Who "won" the game? Just sayin'.

  152. I think 'Almighty Dollar' adds some solid perspective but I thought Ochefu was overlooked in the celebration after the Kansas win. I thought he was the best player in that game. VU did not match up well with Kansas under the boards, imo, so his play was "yuge".

  153. “Sorry I didn’t shoot it,” Ochefu recalled Arcidiacono telling him, “but I saw Kris was wide open, and I just did what we do.” And do what they do with perfect timing, catching Jenkins in stride... Momma was right; follow through is right as rain... Roll Nova

  154. It may not have been planned, but one of the most effective and underutilized plays in basketball. Drive to the basket with the ball, the defense collapses on you, and your teammate follows in the path you cleared and makes a clear shot close to the basket.

  155. Perfect headline.

  156. good boys. play it straight the way you're taught, and if you need to, in the end, do the obvious in order to win. great job. tears of joy for these boys and I never even saw the game, but as an athlete, I know they done good, did it right.

  157. "Would to God that all the Lord's people were Prophets."

    William Blake, Jerusalem

    Arch you are there as making one of the greatest plays in the history of the game of basketball.

    Congratulations young man.

  158. It was Arcidiacono's job to make the decision how the play would go, not necessarily to make the play. He and the entire team drilled to complete the play with the greatest likelihood of success so he could make the best decision without stopping to analyze. Great training, great coaching, and a team that knows and trusts itself makes for outstanding basketball.

  159. Villanova made a nice play at the end but it doesn't match Marcus Paige's refusal to lose effort to get UNC from down ten to a tie. The degree of difficulty in Paige's last three - getting blocked splaying his feet hanging in the air draining the shot - and a catch and shoot by Jenkins is 10 to 3 at least. No disrespect to nova or Jenkins. But watch the last four minutes and you see a senior carry his team back into contention by sheer will. Did you see nova rebound and a scrawny kid unseen in camera take the ball from them and score ?

    I know. The winner is great the loser is chopped liver. Writers can't get past that hackneyed narrative. And with the academic scandal going in five years now and Roy being testy it is fashionable to dismiss UNC. But you miss how the UNC players stayed and didn't transfer. How they bonded. (And nova was close too). And achieved after being left for dead in February.

    If you are a basketball lifer, like me, that effort by MP was more amazing than any four minutes ever in UNC history. Including worthy, Jordan, Charlie , al wood and the rest.

    Congratulations nova on a great effort and well executed game plan. You and UNC paired up for a title game for the ages.

  160. The last second shot wasn't as incredible as everyone has made out to be because it was a tied game. If he missed they would have gone to OT. Now if Nova was down by two that would have been the shot for the ages......

  161. Yeah, what's he big deal, right? Are you serious? Can you name a bigger shot in college basketball in the last 25 years? Literally a buzzer beater to win the National Championship - and it's not that incredible? Yes Nova could have been down three and make a 50 footer while getting fouled to win the game, but let's not take anything away from what happened Monday.

  162. I find it hard to understand why the passer -- a player who has drilled this play many times according to his coach -- is getting so much credit while the shooter who fulfilled the most difficult and pressure laden part of the entire play seems to be getting relatively ignored (as evidence, just look at the article headline and the name listed).

    Great play for both players but certainly the passer's work didnt surpass the shooter's clutch performance.

    I wonder if people would be as impressed with the passer if he wasn't the only white player on the court at the time.

  163. Really? This article came 2 days after the win. Kris Jenkins was the focus in numerous articles prior to this and the only player to be seen on Good Morning America. His "clutch performance" has been given its due credit. It was a great shot! Arcidiacono, a 4 year captain, made a great play to help set up the win, so he gets an article written a couple days later about that play. How does that have anything to do with him being white???

  164. I enjoyed this game from the start. I had not seen either team play just heard about them. I thought the Tarheels had a more talented team. I saw how Villanova and how hard they worked as a team. They controlled the tempo at certain points in the game. This is one of the best games I have seen. Exciting until the end. I was rooting for Villanova because they were the underdog. I want to see this game again ESPN. Congratulations to Nova, you won because of your heart. Im close to some Jesuits also.

  165. I suppose it's possible that in similar circumstances such great teamwork might have come out of another club, but for now I'm choosing to believe that the unique environment of the school (Yay Villanova!) and the city (Yay Philly!) had a lot to do with it.

  166. I guess you failed to notice that the ball was also passed by a teammate to Marcus Paige just before he made his, do-or-die, game-tying shot with less than five seconds? To be clear, Paige's shot was more critical, as UNC would definitely lose if he missed the shot, whereas a miss by Jenkin's shot mean only that VIllanova went to overtime tied with UNC.

    Are you aware that in basketball, statistics are tracked to indicate teamwork such as the pass made at the end of the game by Villanova? As it turns out, Villanova had only 5 other assists in the entire game. North Carolina had 16 in the game - in other words, 2.5 times as many assists as Villanova.

    so, no, Villanova is not some unique exemplar of teamwork, and neither is Philly. I know, I used to live there, and have relatives who went to school at Nova, and who played for teams in the Big Five.

  167. I'm dismayed that several of the comments here focus on the short white kid vs. tall black kid bit. I mean, really. First of all, this article ran 48 hours AFTER Jenkins hit his winning shot, and I challenge anyone to point out a lack of coverage of the "black kid" and his shot. Secondly, Jenkins clearly expresses his admiration afterwards for Arcidiacono's selflessness sense of where he and Jenkins were as the play unfolded. Thirdly, the main article the day before focused at the top on Jenkins's role as "trailer," his winning shot, and featured both a head shot photo of Jenkins from the press conference and a photo of him taking the wining shot. Fourthly, Arcidiacono was a 4-year player and captain of a championship team, a rarity these days in NCAA Division 1 basketball, and hence certainly worth a look at his part in the winning play regardless of his race. When will people stop this white vs black athlete thing, for crying out loud? Irrelevant here.

  168. "It is humility that makes men as angels.”
    --Saint Augustine