As many of you know by now, Villanova’s Wildcats were three points better than the North Carolina Tar Heels, winning 77-74 to claim the NCAA basketball crown.
Many say it may have been the best collegiate basketball game ever played, certainly the best final ever played. I tend to think the great Kentucky-Duke regional final of 1992, with both teams going over 100 points and Christian Laettner hitting a game-ending jumper to give Duke the win was the best ever. I might have to rethink that.
Oddly enough, I’d been listening to Jim Nantz’s audiobook Always By My Side this weekend gone by. Jim’s a very competent play by play man, in my book second behind the microphone only to Al Michaels among present day play callers. He tends to always have a signature line ready to go when the culminating moment of a Super Bowl, Masters, or NCAA championship takes hold.
With all due respect, I felt Nantz blew it trying to talk over the pandemonium of Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hitting the game winning shot. If it were me, I would have just “laid out” (not said anything) for a few seconds, then cleared up whatever controversy existed about whether or not the shot got off in time, which it did. The pictures CBS were relaying could tell the story of the unbridled joy of the moment better than the words of the commentators.
But I must also say in Jim’s defense, it’s easy to get wrapped in such a moment. Even the great Pat Summerall got a bit wrapped up watching Adam Vinateri kick a game winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVI back in 2002. A broadcasting legend who was a former kicker calling a game-winning kick in the last Super Bowl he’d ever call? I’d give him a pass on that, so I give Mr. Nantz and company a pass as well.
I don’t know what the future holds for Kris Jenkins, but that three point shot will live with him the rest of his life.