Villanova 77, North Carolina 74: Villanova Upsets North Carolina to Claim First Title in 31 Years


Josh Hart of Villanova, which was a No. 2 seed out of the Midwest region but peaked as the N.C.A.A. tournament wore on.

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HOUSTON — With a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Kris Jenkins, the Villanova men’s basketball team won its first national title in 31 years on Monday night, defeating North Carolina, 77-74, at NRG Stadium in the N.C.A.A. tournament’s championship game.

It was the Wildcats’ first championship since its memorable run as a No. 8 seed in 1985, which culminated with a win over Georgetown as one of the tournament’s greatest upsets.

Phil Booth led Villanova with 20 points, and Ryan Arcidiacono added 16. Marcus Paige scored 21 points and Joel Berry II added 20 for North Carolina.

This year, Villanova was a No. 2 seed out of the Midwest region, but the team peaked as the season wore on. After defeating Oklahoma on Saturday by a Final Four-record 44 points, the Wildcats continued their impressive play Monday against a top-seeded North Carolina team seeking its first championship since 2009.

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