24 stunning photos from Villanova’s epic NCAA men’s basketball championship

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Ronald Martinez

The Villanova Wildcats are the national champions of men’s college basketball, beating North Carolina in one of the best NCAA Tournament games ever.

It was a back-and-forth game that saw the Tar Heels rally from a 10-point deficit in the final five minutes only to see Villanova run a perfectly executed play in the final seconds, leading to Kris Jenkins’ 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 77-74 win.

The game produced some stunning and memorable images. Here are the best photos from Getty Images, the Associated Press, and Reuters.


The calm before the storm.

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Streeter Lecka

Much was made of playing inside a football stadium and its impact on shooting. It didn’t bother Villanova, which shot 58.3%.

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Streeter Lecka

Jay Wright was much more animated during the game than he was at the end.

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Streeter Lecka

A sea of Tar Heel arms.

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Scott Halleran

Michael Jordan was on hand to support North Carolina.

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Ronald Martinez

Marcus Paige hit this ridiculous off-balance 3-pointer that tied the game at 74 in the closing seconds.

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Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports

After their team had trailed by 10 points with less than five minutes to go, North Carolina fans suddenly had hope.

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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

But that was quickly dashed by what may go down as the greatest shot in college basketball history. Here, Kris Jenkins watches as his shot travels through the air, 0.1 seconds remains on the clock at its apex.

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Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports

After the ball went in, Jenkins just raised his arms and seemed to soak it in until his teammates mobbed him.

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Streeter Lecka

The clock reads 0.0; the backboard’s red light is on. The Wildcats are the champs.

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Ronald Martinez

The pain on North Carolina’s bench was real.

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David J. Phillip/AP

All Roy Williams could do was bend over as if he had been punched in the gut.

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Ronald Martinez

And then he stood there as streamers came falling down on top of him.

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Ronald Martinez

It was a bitter end for Brice Johnson.

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Ronald Martinez

But the celebration was on for the Wildcats.

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Streeter Lecka

Jenkins celebrated his winning shot with the fans.

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Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports

Yummy.

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Ronald Martinez

A view from above.

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Ronald Martinez

National champions.

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Streeter Lecka

A see-through championship trophy will haunt Carolina’s dreams.

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Streeter Lecka

Things were quiet in the Tar Heels locker room.

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Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports

They were so close.

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Eric Gay/AP

Jay Wright barely celebrated, but he did walk off the court with a big smile.

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Streeter Lecka

The Villanova Wildcats are the champs.

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Streeter Lecka


Up next is the Masters. Now check out what it is like behind the scenes.

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Getty/Rob Carr

What it’s like to drive Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and other pro golfers around at the Masters, according to one woman who did it