Massimino shook hands with Thompson before the tap, walked back to his bench and said to his assistants, “We’ve got ’em. Martin, the ’85 power forward who played for four years alongside Ewing, says, “We had a black coach and [most years] an all-black team. Jay Wright runs a summer golf-alumni basketball tournament that brings many former Wildcats together. Updated 1422 GMT (2222 HKT) April 5, 2016. Villanova players celebrate after Kris Jenkins, center, hit the winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the NCAA Tournament national championship game April 4, 2016, in Houston.

And I slept fine that night.”), Ewing says, “One turnover cost us the game, but I don’t blame anybody. It was the first year of the full, 64-team bracket and the last year in which the tournament was played without a shot clock. It was a daunting assignment and would require the game of his life. But like we know them, and we can play with them.”.

“Mitch is a great X’s-and-O’s guy and a great recruiter,” says Plansky, “but a woeful manager. “A year earlier I would have been happy if you’d told me I could get a ticket to the Final Four.” After four years at Villanova he became Massimino’s top assistant at age 34. ), The toughest of those games was the first one. Villanova advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over Dayton (51-49), No. It is the Wildcats’ go-to set with less than five seconds remaining on the game clock, and there they were, all tied with North Carolina in Monday’s national title game, with 4.7 seconds left. Harold Jensen, a sophomore head case recruited from Trumbull (Conn.) High to shoot from the outside, conquered his self-doubt only during the tournament run and made the most important shot in Villanova history, an 18-foot jumper that gave the Wildcats a 55-54 lead with 2:37 to play in the title game, a lead they did not relinquish.

It's also the first championship for head coach Jay Wright, his first appearance in a national title game. //

A number of injuries were reported: Thirty-seven people were treated at an area triage center; seven people were also transported to a local hospital. The youngest child of an immigrant shoemaker who had a sixth-grade education, Massimino would have five children of his own, and they would give him 16 (17 now) grandchildren. VILLANOVA'S HISTORIC UPSET OF GEORGETOWN in the 1985 NCAA championship game remains one of college basketball’s most memorable and compelling moments. "Ryan Arcidiacono, he's one of the best players I've ever played with," Jenkins said. Villanova University/Collegiate Images/Getty Images. We bracketed 64 of the greatest wins in Villanova Men's Basketball history and are asking fans to contribute their votes to help determine which games should advance through the tournament bracket. There were tears and hugs all around, and kisses on the bare noggin of 74-year-old trainer Jake Nevin, who, suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, was confined to a wheelchair and had become the team’s emotional touchstone.”I’ve never felt closer to a bunch of people in my life,” recalls Jensen. In the summer of 2005, Everson brought them together, unbeknownst to both men, at the summer basketball camp that Everson runs on his native Long Island.

“I should have stayed at Villanova,” Massimino says.

Paige scored a game-high 21 points.

“I’ve got to get open to get that ball back,” says Jackson.

“I was out to dinner with two of my sons, when my left arm just drops right into my lap,” he says.

“I had been shooting the ball well the whole tournament.” The Wildcats did not trail again. McLain says SI paid $35,000 for his words in 1987, but after he’d shared the fee with Marx and paid off some debts, he had $6,000.

Massimino can’t get out three sentences without dropping the names of half a dozen former players or assistant coaches, each of whom is referred to—sincerely, it seems—as a “dear friend.” Some go back as far as days coaching high school in Hillside, N.J. During a two-hour interview he gets three calls on his cellphone, all from former players.

Then Massimino took a deep breath. He wished he hadn’t said those things about Buonaguro and he wished I hadn’t written them. His second went 15-16 but also made the tournament. A big bowl of spags, with clam sauce.” He was laughing madly as he said it, spreading his hands as if to illustrate a massive vat of pasta. “But one incident doesn’t determine who I am.”, And there is this, from somewhere deep in his soul: “I am incredibly thankful to Coach Mass for the way he ran that program.

9 seed, beat Ohio State in the first round and narrowly lost to Louisville in the second round.

“I’ve thought about this a lot through the years,” says Pinckney. Maybe going through so many wars over the years, three seniors getting so comfortable with each other. It also is Dick Ebersol’s final episode as executive producer. ), (This section of the original story caused problems 11 years ago. “Maybe people thought I was a rat or I did something bad just for money,” he says. The music has echoed in the ears of fans like him for 31 years. And, you know, we put a lot of work in.
"Honestly, this is nothing special -- excuse me, this is very special, this is nothing surprising for us. Massimino was deeply hurt by McLain’s revelations. Siena named Buonaguro as his replacement, and the Saints struggled badly, going 35-59 in three seasons and never finishing higher than sixth in the MAAC.

They stood and talked for a long time, with Everson’s teenaged son.

Coaches everywhere were instantly and forever given license to dream aloud, inspiring their teams to do the impossible: Boys, let me tell you a story about a basketball game back in 1985. His reputation had suffered so badly that at the Villanova press conference announcing Massimino’s resignation—he was not present—students cheered his departure. “It taught me to believe in myself, and I’ve taken that through my whole life.” (Jensen stands by that, 11 years later.
“He always liked to have people around him.”, In the early 1980’s, many prospective recruits and their families were eager to buy a piece of Massimino’s schtick.

(“The one we missed, Patrick blocked, and I was actually passing to Ed,” says McClain. It had been 31 years since Villanova’s last national title, in 1985, but the Wildcats had delivered again, 77-74, over the Tar Heels, a No. Georgetown was so tough and nasty and we worried about getting the ball over halfcourt. That day was about our daughter.” Massimino and Lappas spoke. There was one more stop. “The spaghetti speech,” says McClain. “During our run, there wasn’t a lot of talking on the court. That was no joke. It was a sloppy start to the game, with the teams combining for four turnovers and only five field goals in the first five minutes. One year after hosting his annual Final Four party in Queens, he was on the floor in Rupp Arena, hugging Massimino after the buzzer.

A taut battle of wills left Dayton in possession with the game tied 49-49 with less than two minutes to play.

He came back again four years ago, when the team was inducted, en masse, into the Villanova sports hall of fame. Intense, glowering and, at 6' 10", truly larger-than-life, John Thompson cut a very different figure than Massimino. Some of them did drugs with me.” He wrote that Massimino knew about his drug use but didn’t try to expose him because that might have led to the discovery of other users and damaged the team. Vote here for the winner of the 1 Seed vs. 2 Seed, Elite Eight match-up in the Massimino Region: The 1 Seed in the Kraft Region is Villanova's demolition of rival Penn in the 1971 NCAA East Regional Final to advance to the Final Four. “I really enjoy it,” says Massimino. As for that final play, Arcidiacono said that's one that they work on every single day at practice. His team was not going to be distracted by the setting, happy to be there. “My inner sanctum never changed. “We connected. Point guard Gary McLain was part of Villanova’s stellar 1981 recruiting class. “I’ve had some challenges, some health challenges, not life-threatening, but difficult times in my life,” he says, “And I called upon the perseverance I learned back in that season.”), (Pinckney stayed at Villanova until 2007, spent three seasons as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves and since 2010 has been an assistant with the Chicago Bulls.

Grabbing the moment: As time ran out, senior Dwayne McClain needed one hand for the ball and the other to tell the world that his Wildcats were NCAA champions. In an atrium inside the Davis Center, Villanova’s practice complex, twin 19-inch monitors inside a glass trophy case show a looping highlight montage of the 1985 men’s basketball national championship game. The Villanova Wildcats are the 2018 National Champions! “I took two dribbles and laid it up. I felt badly, too, but I also felt that Plansky had been honest in his original assessment, and he never pulled back from that. 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… Massimino calls it “one of the most memorable experiences my wife and I will ever have.” Harold Pressley, a starting forward on the championship team, says, “From the time I got off the plane until the time I got back on, it was nonstop laughs. So when Arc gives me the ball, one-two step and shoot em up, sleep in the streets.” 1 this season. “His family atmosphere was absolutely key,” says Harold Pressley, who in 1982 as a senior at St. Bernard High in Uncasville, Conn., was an All-America. He wouldn’t return phone messages I left with him and intermediaries couldn’t get him to budge. I’ve had some really really good teams and really really good players. Villanova players mobbed Kris Jenkins (2) after his buzzer-beating 3-pointer sealed an upset of North Carolina. We laughed together, we cried together.” (As always, McLain was the complex exception. “I have been humbled in this life,” says McLain. Now I’m doing something for her.”. This was the first year the field was expanded to 64 teams, from 53 in the previous year's tournament. “We have a great administration, great assistant coaches. He returned to the band in 1996 and again in 2006. So sometimes he’d shake their hand while he’s looking away, and that guy tells people, ‘Rollie Massimino’s an ass.’”. Villanova elected to make it black players versus white players, seven-on-seven. Eleven years later, Plansky says, “Those things happened. I was wondering if I could really make it at this level of basketball. We don’t talk every day or anything like that, but we’re fine.”). But not in a way that I could take action. (This still holds; no champion since ’85 has come close to ’Nova's average. “As soon as I came into the game Lenny drops to the low block and starts screaming, ‘Mismatch! “I threw a bad pass that Horace Broadnax was too lazy to bend over and catch,” says Martin. “We watched Seattle Slew make babies,” says Jackson.

Villanova defeated Michigan on Monday night, 79-62, en route to its second national championship in …

You’re good enough. At that point Marbach, now 51, got off the coaching treadmill. But Carolina, which had missed its first 12 3-point attempts in Saturday’s win over Syracuse, delivered on five of its first seven, including three in a row from the same corner.

“At the end of the day, it’s me and coach with the kids and I say to coach, ‘Okay, Gary is over there in a room and he wants to talk to you.’ Coach says, ‘I will kill you for this.’ And I said, ‘Look, this ends here. Did what they needed to do.”.

The Wildcats played very deliberately (“Like snails,” says Pinckney), but almost always with purpose. He finished with 16 points. Following the turnover Villanova held the ball for 62 seconds until Jensen drilled the wide-open jump shot from the right side with 2:37 left on the clock.

Give me the rock!’” says Plansky. Massimino’s former players remain disappointed that he hasn’t been elected into the Hall of Fame, like his Big East brethren Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, Lou Carnesecca and John Thompson. "So that one was no different.". He says he wants to write a book about his life and perhaps to deliver his cautionary tale to kids.

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