Kris Jenkins and the Wildcats Stun the Tar Heels

Kris Jenkins nails the game-winning shot in one of the most intense NCAA Championship games in history. Screen shot from video:

Jack Dalmolin, Staff Writer

With his team down by three points, Marcus Paige, the guard for UNC, went for the game tying 3-pointer. Every person in the NRG Stadium stood in anxious anticipation as the senior from North Carolina pulled up, double clutched to avoid the charging Villanova defenders, and finally released the ball as gravity pulled him down towards the court. He drained the shot and evened the score with Villanova at 74-74.

UNC fans around the country jumped off of their couches in disbelief. With the defense in his face and the title on the line, Marcus Paige had just made one of the most incredible shots in tournament history. With just under five seconds left, everyone expected his shot to force the game to overtime – but Villanova coach Jay Wright had other plans.

The Villanova Wildcats knew exactly what to do in this situation. They drew up a play called “Nova”, which put the ball in the hands of Ryan Arcidiacono and gave him a chance to dribble up the court, dish the ball to Kris Jenkins who was trailing behind him, and set a screen for him as Jenkins went for them money shot. They only had 4.7 seconds to execute.

Just as UNC fans were coming down from the wave of euphoria cased by Paige’s clutch shot, they turned their attention back to the game and watched the last few seconds of the 2016 NCAA Championship unfold. Arcidiacono sprinted down the court and into 3-point range. He dished it behind him to Jenkins, the forward, and set a screen for him. Jenkins had wide open look. He took the shot. The ball swished through the hoop as the buzzer went off. The Villanova bench stormed the court before the Tar Heels even had a chance to move from their frozen stances. They were shocked.

As Marcus Paige walked off the court, one could only imagine the emotional pain he was feeling after this swift turn of events. His shot would not be remembered – it was Kris Jenkins who was the hero of the night. He solidified his team in history in a clutch last second effort. Thanks to Kris Jenkins, Marcus Paige, and their respective teams, they gave America a title game that nobody will soon forget.