Villanova advanced to the championship game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a 95-51 blowout win over Oklahoma. However, it could have been even worse if not for a small moment of sportsmanship by Villanova.
With the Wildcats up by 44 in the closing minute, Villanova’s Phil Booth stole the ball and had a chance to put an exclamation point on the win. Instead of driving for an easy dunk, he looked toward the sideline where coach Jay Wright was yelling for him to stop and hold the ball.
It was a small gesture made by a player and a coach to not run up the score. However, it also comes on the heels of the incident between Oregon and Duke in which Mike Krzyzewski lectured an Oregon player for shooting a meaningless long-distance 3-pointer at the end of their win over Duke.
Krzyzewski later apologized, but there were still plenty of critics who felt he was in the right for criticizing a player for taking a meaningless shot in a game where the outcome was already sealed.
In this case, few would have had a problem with Booth taking the two points unchallenged. That he chose not to is worth a round of applause.