Post-mortem on the NCAA championship game

I thought back to the shocking upset by Villanova over Georgetown in 1985.

It was at Rupp Arena in Lexington,  Kentucky. Long before the practice of holding the Final Four in cavernous football stadiums.
I was in the stands on a CBS set hosting the game, while Brent Musburger and Billy Packer broadcast the contest.
When it ended with a 2- point Wildcat stunner (they were double-digit underdogs). Brent threw it to me and my immediate declaration was “that’s why they play the game.”
It goes for any game in any sport where people think the result is a foregone conclusion.

On Monday night, North Carolina was the pick. But nowhere near Georgetown was against Villanova 31 years ago.
That the Wildcats won was not so much of a shocker than the finish of the game which, to me, ranks at the top of the all-time endings of the NCAA title game.
The 1983 Jim Valvano-inspired N.C. State last basket decider is right there with Monday’s.
Yes, Villanova’s highly improbable triumph over Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas was more dramatic but not as exciting as the latest Wildcat coronation.

Game winning 3-point baskets are common in today’s college basketball.
But it’s not happened in a Championship Game.
And it certainly hasn’t occurred right after an equally fantastic long-range field goal tied the game with seconds remaining.
That’s what places Villanova’s crowning achievement over the Tar Heels Number One!