Kevin Cooney schools you in writing ledes:
For a few seconds, NRG Stadium went silent. The ball on a precise flight to the basket once it left Kris Jenkins hand. The rotation swirling end over end.
That was followed by a din. An explosion of noise. The dropping of confetti. The moment in history that will stand forever.
Mike Sielski focused on Ryan Arcidiacono and the fitting end to his Villanova career:
Monday’s surely topped it, but for all the agita that his father had to endure, Ryan, named the Final Four’s most outstanding player after the game, made certain that it was worth it. It was all worth it. Everyone will remember that gorgeous shot by Jenkins and the sequence that led to it, the sight of Ryan Arcidiacono, touching the basketball for the last time at Villanova, igniting that brilliant moment. This was the best kind of beauty for him and all the Villanova Wildcats, the kind that isn’t tinged with what-ifs and might-have-beens, the kind that will stay with them forever.
Kris Jenkins was confident, which in a game-winner situation is more important than skill:
Arcidiacono went around a screen from Daniel Ochefu and then made the decision to pass to Jenkins.
“Kris told me he’d be open,” Arcidiacono said.
“I was like, ‘Ryan, Ryan, Ryan,’ ” Jenkins said. “When I get it, it’s going up. I always think it’s going in and this was no different.”
Michael Rosenberg already builds on Jenkins’ tall tale status and shows why Whisper Down the Lane is so damn hard:
Kris Jenkins inbounded to Ryan Arcidiacono, ran toward half-court and called out, “Arch! Arch! Arch!” Jenkins could tell he would be open for the greatest shot in NCAA championship game history, and he assumed he would hit it, because he is Kris Jenkins and he assumes these things.
Sports Illustrated’s Brian Hamilton on the night’s (second) best shot– the improbably Marcus Paige three that came before ‘Nova’s coffin nail:
What happens after you hit the greatest shot anyone can remember in an NCAA tournament championship game, when one of the last acts of your college career is becoming a forever hero, and then you lose? What happens after you are sure you are going to give the place you love all it could ask for, at last, and all that’s in your hand is ash?
At this moment of unfathomable disbelief, Marcus Paige put his arms out, palms up, and then let them fall to his side. He walked off a raised floor and down a few steps and then up a ramp and into a locker room where he dropped his head. He emerged some long, anguished moments later, at about 10:47 p.m. CT, with his North Carolina jersey untucked and a towel slung around his neck. His shoulders moved up and down with each of his heaving breaths.
Rollie Massimino on which of ‘Nova’s championships was more amazing: “This one is No. 1. We’re No. 2.”
The New York Post with their trademark subtlety:
No one dreams of making the winning pass. But Arcidiacono engaged two defenders—his man, Joel Berry II, and 6’ 9″ Isaiah Hicks, who was guarding Jenkins—and dribbled diagonally right across the top of the key. He then turned his back to the basket and pitched the ball to a wide-open Jenkins. A formerly overweight and underappreciated recruit from Washington, D.C., Jenkins has grown to embody the Villanova motto: Shoot ’em up and sleep in the streets.”
ESPN’s Dana O’Neil describes the inhale en masse that happened when Jenkins’ shot was released:
And time paused, if it didn’t stop altogether, as nearly 150,000 eyeballs inside the building turned to the basket as the ball flicked off Jenkins’ fingertips and headed on its trajectory toward the rim.
“Physically, I watched it, but I don’t think I actually understood it,” Villanova assistant coach Baker Dunleavy said of his perch on the bench.
“Oh, I watched it. I watched it. I just can’t believe it,” said Wildcats head coach Jay Wright’s wife, Patty, sitting in the first row on the aisle directly behind the bench.
“I knew. I knew. Because he was set and his shoulders were square,” Joe Arcidiacono, Ryan’s dad, said of his view from section 108.
CBS’ Gary Parrish puts Jenkins’ shot above the high-point of Mario Chalmers’ career:
They were still talking about the wild final 4.7 seconds of the best title game in NCAA Tournament history. They were still talking about how Jim Nantz’s “Jenkins for the championship” line topped “Chalmers for the tie” on the list of great Big Dance moments, if only because “for the championship” trumps “for the tie,” and never mind that Mario Chalmers’ game-tying shot ultimately led to Kansas winning the 2008 title in OT. Doesn’t matter. Because this was better. Because this was a true game-winning buzzer-beater, a shot that left Jenkins’ hands with time on the clock but swished with no time left.
And finally, a nice scene from the aftermath:
Before long, Lancaster Avenue was closed to traffic as thousands took over the street, many of them dancing around a small fire in the middle of Lancaster Avenue …
The crowd was loud but peaceful past midnight as police officers in riot gear stood along the edges of the crowd. Some officers gave high-fives to passing fans.
Colleen Samoyll even walked from her nearby home with her 5-year-old son, Samson, to stand on the outskirts of the celebration.”
Villanova is for the children.