Now 35 years later, Villanova’s 66-64 victory over Georgetown remains one of the most famous college basketball games ever played.
The Wildcats and Hoyas both were members of the Big East and had met twice before that season, with the Hoyas winning both times. Villanova entered as a No. 8 seed and expected little from its tournament appearance given a regular season that concluded with a massively disappointing performance in an 85-62 loss at Pitt and a record that stood at 19-10 after a two-game appearance at the Big East Tournament.
Then came The Perfect Game.
Here are seven things you didn’t know about the Villanova vs. Georgetown 1985 NCAA championship game.
1. Former Villanova assistant coach Steve Lappas, who now works as an analyst for CBS Sports, told Sporting News that coach Rollie Massimino was so disgusted with the inconsistent play of the talented, veteran Wildcats team that after the bracket was posted and Villanova was being sent to play Dayton on the Flyers’ homecourt, he told his staff gathered at his home: “I got one more game with these guys.”
2. Although the Wildcats’ victory in the championship game was widely considered to be an enormous upset, Vegas knew better. The Wildcats were only an 8-point underdog. That was the same number as Kansas carried into the 1988 title game (and won), but considerably less than Connecticut was entering the 1999 title game against top-ranked Duke. The Huskies were a 9.5-point underdog but became champions.
3. The game earned the nickname “The Perfect Game” because Villanova had to play almost flawlessly, especially in the second half, when the Wildcats shot 9-of-10 from the field, to win by just two points. But they committed 17 turnovers against the Hoyas’ pressure defense — including six by wing Harold Jensen, whose brilliant shooting and surprising 14 points were decisive in the upset.
4. All five starters for the Hoyas went on to play in the NBA: Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams, Bill Martin, Michael Jackson and David Wingate. The Wildcats had future pros in center Ed Pinckney and forwards Dwayne McClain and Harold Pressley.
5. Among the players on the Dayton team that became the Wildcats’ first victim in the run to the 1985 NCAA championship was Anthony Grant, who coached the 2019-20 Flyers to a perfect 18-0 record on the Atlantic 10 Conference and was named Sporting News national Coach of the Year.
6. The 1985 Final Four was played in Lexington, Ky., which is by far the smallest metropolitan area to host the Final Four in the expanded-bracket era. Lexington ranks 107th among U.S. markets. In the 35 tournaments conducted under this format, the next-smallest has been New Orleans, which hosted the Final Four in 1987, 1993, 2003 and 2012. Frequent host Indianapolis ranks 34th, and San Antonio is 24th.
7. The Big East got a record three teams to the Final Four in 1985, with Boston College losing to Memphis on an Eagles turnover and then a buzzer-beater from guard Andre Turner in the Midwest Region semifinal — or it might have been four. Since the Big East placed three teams in the Final Four, 19 of the 34 since have included two members of the same conference. The Big Ten has done it six times, the ACC five times. It happened seven times in a row from 1999 to 2005. It hasn’t happened since the ACC got Syracuse and North Carolina to the Final Four in 2016.
Source: Read Full Article