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Villanova

SPORTS
April 6, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
HOUSTON - Villanova won the national championship with a miracle finish in 1985, and it pulled off another miracle Monday night to win it all once again - 31 years later. In the final 4.7 seconds, Ryan Arcidiacono dribbled up the court and found Kris Jenkins with a perfect pass, enabling Jenkins to knock down the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer and giving the Wildcats their second national championship in school history with an incredible 77-74 victory over North Carolina at NRG Stadium.
NEWS
April 6, 2016 | By Bob Ford, Columnist
HOUSTON - Now there is another Villanova team to put on the wall and leave there forever. The long wait since 1985 ended on Monday night on a spotlit court in a football stadium. It ended when a confident forward named Kris Jenkins launched a three-point shot at the buzzer with the score tied and nothing less than the national championship riding on the outcome. The shot slid effortlessly through the basket as time expired. The red lights came on, the fireworks sparked, the confetti dropped, and the Wildcats rushed together in a champion's embrace.
SPORTS
April 6, 2016 | By Mike Jensen, STAFF WRITER
HOUSTON - Standing on a confetti-filled basketball court in the middle of a football stadium, Ed Pinckney looked up at the guys on the stage. A hero of 1985 knew he had company, 2016 Villanova now part of the history of a sport. "As I'm listening to them talking about the game . . . it's been all year," Pinckney said on the court. "Now everybody knows. " Pinckney was the big guy in '85. There was a big guy up on that stage throwing confetti into the air. "You think of the really hard work he put in," Pinckney said of Daniel Ochefu up on the stage.
SPORTS
April 6, 2016 | Mike Jensen, STAFF WRITER
HOUSTON - Naturally, Villanova senior Mike Manta was not going to miss Saturday's NCAA semifinal game. Manta watched the whole glorious thing - in Rome. Standing outside NRG Stadium about four hours before Monday's NCAA title game, Manta, from Downingtown, was explaining the logistics that took him from a hotel room in the Eternal City to a shady spot outside a football stadium in Houston. "It's all blurring together," Manta said, figuring he'd gotten maybe six hours of sleep the previous two days.
SPORTS
April 5, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
HOUSTON - It has been Jay Wright's customary answer every year when Villanova is about to embark on a new season and he is asked about the team's goals. You will never hear him say what you anticipate a coach in his position would say: a Big Five championship, the Big East regular-season title, the conference championship, a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Instead, his stock saying is, "We want to be the best team we can be by the end of the season. " The success of the 2015-16 Villanova season has been a lot easier to measure.
SPORTS
April 5, 2016
"Except for (North) Carolina or Kansas, I don't think there's a team in this year's tournament that isn't worried about losing in the second round. As I told the kids, 'Is that going to kill us (if it happens again)?' No. If that's the worst it is, we can handle it. Now let's go try to win the whole thing.' " - Villanova coach Jay Wright on the Monday after Selection Sunday, when asked about all of the early exits by his Wildcats since they made it to the Final Four in 2009.
SPORTS
April 5, 2016
HOUSTON - If you are going to win a national championship, you may as well finish off what has been a glorious run of impossibly brilliant basketball against one of the marquee names in the sport, a university that has been so good for so long that it has played in a Final Four each of the last eight decades. Villanova's players will not be playing the tradition of North Carolina basketball Monday night at NRG Stadium, but they will be facing a very skilled team that plays a style completely different than their own. The seniors who will start played three years ago in a mostly forgettable 8/9 NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City.
SPORTS
April 5, 2016 | By Mike Jensen, STAFF WRITER
HOUSTON - Kris Jenkins gives a little smile, the picture of cool, talking about the work he has to do Monday against North Carolina's big men. Sure, they've got a few inches on him and there are more of them. Jenkins knows all that better than anyone. If the Tar Heels are playing, he's watching. They are practically family. One of them is family. But stick to the court first. If Villanova wins a national title at NRG Stadium, odds are Jenkins will be way up the list of reasons why. Something like the 18 points and eight rebounds Jenkins had against Oklahoma - and his defensive work, including that charge he took from Buddy Hield - would look just dandy for 'Nova if he repeats it all. Jenkins is used to matchup issues.
SPORTS
April 5, 2016 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
HOUSTON - The other guys are taller and ranked higher and they will climb onto the raised court Monday night with one of the most iconic names in college basketball on the front of their jerseys. Villanova knows all that and, sure, the Wildcats would rather be playing the University of the Arts for the national championship than the North Carolina Tar Heels, but this is how the script played out and why not step into the ring and find Apollo Creed waiting? Who were you expecting, Bugs Bunny?
SPORTS
April 5, 2016 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
HOUSTON - The last time Jay Wright led Villanova to the Final Four, it took less than two months after that national semifinal loss to North Carolina for an NBA team to tempt him with the opportunity to become a head coach. The year was 2009. The team was the 76ers. Their president at the time was Ed Stefanski, whose ties to the city and friendship with Wright were reason enough for Wright to come in for a sit-down and contemplate taking the job. The following week, Wright withdrew his name from consideration, but already he had set himself up for a similar overture in the future.
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