Villanova wins 2016 March Madness



Villanova beats North Carolina 77-74 to win the NCAA Championship game on Monday, April 4, 2016, at NRG Stadium in Houston. (Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

Emily Ruthven, Around Creek Editor

64 collegiate basketball teams from across the nation entered into the March Madness tournament on March 17. From those 64, 32 emerged victorious. Texas teams saw both victory and loss during this round. The Baylor Bears, ranked number five in the west, were defeated by Yale, who ranked number 12 in the west, by a mere four points. However, the Texas A&M Aggies, ranked number 3, tasted sweet victory when they easily conquered the 14th best team in the west, Green Bay. The Aggies’ rival, the Texas Longhorns, experienced a heartbreaking loss when the Northern Iowa Panthers’ own Paul Jesperson made half court shot at the buzzer, leading his number eleven team to victory with a score of 75-72.

And so Longhorns fans were Panthers fans on Sunday against the Aggies, but it was with more than a little twinge of bitter sweetness.

“It was a well-played game after what was overall a remarkable season from Texas, but it hurts to end up on the wrong side of this. At the same time, Northern Iowa played well enough throughout most of the game to be deserving of the win and capitalized at the end with an amazing play,” said Wescott Eberts of

Sequentially, 16 teams remained, becoming apart of the selective “Sweet Sixteen”. Teams included Kansas, Maryland, Miami, Villanova, Oregon, Duke, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Indiana, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Virginia, Iowa State, Gonzaga and Syracuse. Games of the sweet sixteen were played throughout March 24 and 25 in Oklahoma City.

Teams of the elite eight included Kansas, Villanova, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia and UNC. Most of the games between the eight resulted in relatively close scores, with the exception of the Oklahoma and the Oregon game. The final score resulted in a triumphant win for the Sooners with a score of 80-68. Other members of the final four included Villanova, UNC, and Syracuse. The final four games were played consecutively on April 2 at Houston’s very own NRG stadium.

Villanova crushed the Oklahoma Sooners with a score of 95-51, the largest win over Oklahoma by a record 44 point margin. North Carolina was proven to be superior to Syracuse with a score of 83-66.

“The Cinderella story of the No. 10 Syracuse Orange came to a bitter end on Saturday night as the Tar Heels cruised to an 83-66 win and cover. The cover brought North Carolina’s ATS run to 8-1 over its last nine games, including a 4-0 run through the last four rounds of the NCAA Tournament,” according to

Some thought that the games were a bit disappointing.

“It was an anticlimactic Final Four in a lot of ways, as both teams won by double-digit margins. Second-seeded Villanova buried Oklahoma by a record 44-point margin, while top-seeded North Carolina stemmed the tide late in a big win over Cinderella story Syracuse,” said NCAA Basketball Newspaper.

The championship game was played in NRG stadium on April 4 at 8:00 pm between North Carolina and Villanova. UNC was favored to win. Early in the game, North Carolina took the lead but Villanova followed closely behind. In the end, Villanova’s efforts were proven unsuccessful, as North Carolina won the game with crowd-crazing buzzer shot.