WATCH: Kris Jenkins buzzer-beater wins NCAA championship for Villanova
It's Villanova's second national championship
Jill Martin | 4/5/2016, 9 a.m.
HOUSTON (CNN) What a shot.
Junior forward Kris Jenkins hit a three at the buzzer, and No. 2 seed Villanova won the NCAA men's basketball national championship in thrilling fashion over No. 1 seed North Carolina, 77-74, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
It's the first buzzer-beater on a three-pointer in national championship history. Villanova also became the first team to win the national championship game on a buzzer-beater since N.C. State defeated Houston 54-52 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1983. Monday's game marked the 33rd anniversary of that 1983 championship game.
The win is Villanova's second championship in program history, the first coming in 1985. It's also the first championship for head coach Jay Wright, his first appearance in a national title game.
UNC senior guard Marcus Paige's acrobatic three-point shot with 4.7 seconds remaining had given UNC life, tying it at 74. Seat cushions flew all over the stadium in celebration.
But it was premature.
Jenkins, who finished the night with 16 points, snuffed out UNC's hopes of a sixth championship with a dagger as the horn sounded.
After the game, he was asked if he knew the shot was good.
"I think every shot is going in," Jenkins said. "So that one was no different."
Senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who set up Jenkins for the game-winner, was named Most Outstanding Player. He finished with 16 points.
"Ryan Arcidiacono, he's one of the best players I've ever played with," Jenkins said. "For a senior to get the ball and make the right play and not try to shoot the ball in double coverage just shows a lot about him and what he's about and how he's just all about winning."
A close one throughout
UNC (33-7) gained control in the final minutes by sweeping the glass for rebounds and knocking down threes (hitting 7 of 9 for 77.8%) and went to the locker room with a 39-34 lead, undoubtedly making Michael Jordan, a UNC alum who was in attendance, happy for the moment.
But in the second half, Villanova (35-5) grabbed the lead with a three from sophomore guard Phil Booth to make it 49-46 with 12:46 remaining.
UNC never regained the lead.
Arcidiacono kept the momentum going for the Wildcats, scoring nine of Villanova's next 16 points. With free throws, Booth extended the lead to 67-57 with 5:29 left.
Booth, who started the night on the bench, finished with a career-high 20 points to lead Villanova. Junior guard Josh Hart had 12 points.
Paige, who led all scorers with 21 points, cut Villanova's lead to 72-71 with 22 seconds remaining with a three. He finished 4-of-7 from three-point range.
But Josh Hart sunk two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to extend the lead to 74-71, setting up a frantic finish.
"Our teammates, we just fought," Arcidiacono said. "At halftime, we said we needed to play 20 minutes of Villanova basketball and in the second half, we just fought. We made remarkable plays at the end of the game. I love this team."