Bill Frieder looks back on an all-time classic


Boxed Out 800

I have been around basketball for a long time, yet I wasn’t smart enough to see the national champions right in front of me for the past few weeks.

I had Miami as a sleeper and Villanova took them out. Everyone loved Kansas (including me), yet Jay Wright’s crew wasn’t going to be denied a trip to the Final Four. Then they took care of the nation’s best player in Buddy Hield and Oklahoma, and it looked like a bad junior high matchup against one of the best coaches in the game.

Then I picked UNC because I picked them last April and was ready to tell you to just trust my predictions. Why didn’t UNC win? In addition to what now is arguably the greatest shot in college basketball history, how about sophomore Phil Booth pouring in a career high 20 points? He had 20 points in the previous four games combined. Villanova had just six assists, allowed UNC to shoot 11-of-17 from three and North Carolina had 15 more shot attempts. It didn’t matter because Villanova shot 28-of-48 (.583) from the field.

This says it all on how good Villanova was: the Wildcats shot nearly 60 percent from the floor and had only two offensive rebounds. North Carolina had the second-highest three-point field-goal percentage (64.7) in a tournament loss in the last 20 seasons. Yet as college football and big schools rule college athletics, it is great to know that in the last 20 seasons, Big East teams are 6-0 in the National Championship game. Villanova got one for the little guys, where the round ball is still the most important investment.

– Bill Frieder

Former Michigan and Arizona State head coach Bill Frieder is an analyst for Westwood One’s coverage of NCAA Basketball. In his weekly blog Boxed Out, Bill scours the box scores to bring you interesting stories from the world of college basketball.

Comments are closed.

Most Recent NCAA Basketball Posts

First Four Recap: Texas Southern, Syracuse advance

15 March 2018 No Comments
DAYTON, OH – Texas Southern and Syracuse each advanced from the First Four on Wednesday night. The Tigers rolled past North Carolina Central in the early game, while the Orange held on late to get past Arizona State. Texas Southern will face top-seeded Xavier in Nashville on Friday, while Syracuse…
Read More »

First Four Recap: Radford, St. Bonaventure advance

14 March 2018 No Comments
DAYTON, OH – Radford and St. Bonaventure are the first two teams to score victories in this year’s NCAA tournament. The Highlanders knocked off LIU-Brooklyn and the Bonnies took care of UCLA. Radford will face top-seeded Villanova on Thursday in Pittsburgh, while St. Bonaventure heads to Dallas to take on…
Read More »

Postgame Interviews

13 March 2018 No Comments
Hear from the key players and coaches immediately after the games end. You'll find postgame interviews from Westwood One's coverage of March Madness right here.

Site Previews and Pregame Interviews

13 March 2018 No Comments
Get set for all the action of March Madness on Westwood One right here! We'll bring you previews from our announcers at each tournament site and pregame interviews with head coaches.
Load more posts