Top 5 March Madness Championship Games


Olivia Napadensky, Reporter

The Waunakee Boys Basketball headed to Verona to play the Lafallotte Lancers in the Sectional Semifinal on March 3rd, 2020. WIAA had restricted access for this game and only those who were deemed essential could be there for the game. Waunakee trailed at the half 22 to 45 and ended the game with a loss. Final score was 67 for Waunakee and La Follette 83. This marked the last game for seniors Oleg Novinski, Caden Hough, and Jake May. Following the game, and after the Kohl Center dropped out as the host for the State Tournament, the WIAA cancelled the Boys and Girls Basketball State Tournament due to the evolving COVID-19. 


Top 5 March Madness Championship Games


#1 Villanova vs North Carolina in 2016

Villanova Wildcats with the 2nd seed matched against the North Carolina Tar Heels with the number one seed. Kris Jenkins, of the Villanova Wildcats, is the hero of this story. Making the winning 3 pointer and giving the Wildcats their first championship win since 1985. Despite their loss Carolina was not ready to lose just yet, and had scored 6 points to tie the game with about 5 seconds left. However this was not enough and the Wildcats were ready for their last play. The play starts and ends with Jenkins ironically. He passes the ball to Ryan Arcidiacono who brings it up the court and then once double teamed he passes it to his right for Jenkins. With only a few seconds left on the clock Jenkins pulls up for a 3, just barely missing the hand of Carolina’s defender Isiah Hicks, and finishing the game. Final score was Villanova 77 and North Carolina 74. 

#2 North Carolina vs Kansas in 1957

It took the North Carolina Tar Heels 3 overtimes to finally seal the deal and win the championship in a game against the Kansas Jayhawks. Regulation time ended the game in a 46-46 tie. Through the first over time each team scored 2 points making it a 48-48 tie. During the 2nd overtime each team worked hard on defense to keep each other scoreless. During the 3rd overtime each team started to score and with 8 seconds on the clock the score was 53 Kansas and 52 North Carolina. That’s when North Carolina’s player, Joe Quigg, was fouled and he was sent to the free throw line. He makes both, breaking the tie and moving North Carolina’s score from 52 to 54. With a few seconds left the Kansas Jaybirds tried to answer back, but when the inbound pass was short, the buzzer sounded before they got a chance and the game was over. The final score was 54 to 53 with North Carolina overcoming the Jayhawks’ home court advantage and completing their undefeated season. 

#3 North Carolina State vs Houston in 1983

Houston was favored to win and NC St was ready to prove them wrong.  It was all tied up and each team had 52 points and 44 seconds were on the clock. North Carolina would use up every second to ensure they had the last shot. Although Houston had a few close opportunities to steal the ball, NC State held strong and after doing enough passing for 40 seconds Dereck Wittenberg took a 30-foot shot. However the shot missed the basket, but luckily Lorenzo Charles, of NC St, was ready, turned the shot into a pass, and dunked the ball to finish the game. Final score was 54 to 52 and NC State was the first team to win a national championship while in the same season losing 10 games. 

#4 Villanova vs Georgetown on 1985

Goergetown and Villanova had already battled it out twice that season and Georgetown won both games. Georgetown was ready to turn the 2 into a 3 and win the National Championship. However, Villanova had different plans and after Villanova player Harold Jenson hit an 18 ft jumper to five them the lead, they were ready to battle it out for the next 2 minutes and 37 seconds. Georgetown gave it their all, but nothing could stop Villanova who was 22 for 28 in field goals making a record of 78% of their shots. At the final buzzer Villanova led 66 to 64 and is one of the best underdog stories in the NCAA. 

#5 Indiana vs Syracuse in 1987

It had been back and forth for the whole game and with 30 seconds left Syracuse was up with a score of 73-72. The game came down to Syracuse’s Derrick Colemen who missed his free throw and then Indiana’s Keith Smart sank a baseline shot with only seconds left to win the game. This gave Indiana their 5th National Championship. The final score was 74 for Indiana and 73 for Syracuse.