BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
The 1985 NCAA Men’s National Championship was played on Monday, April 1, 1985 at Rupp Arena in Lexington Ky.
This was the last game played without a shot clock. That was put into play the next season.
This was an advantage for Villanova.
Entering the tournament Villanova was not ranked and seeded 8th with 19-10 record. Georgetown, the defending national champions was the top seed with a 30-2 record.
The road to the championship game for Villanova went like this. They beat Dayton on a layup, and then beat Michigan 59-55, followed by besting Maryland 46-43 and then North Carolina by 12. In the Final Four semi-final Villanova beat Memphis State 52-45.
Georgetown’s road to the Final Four included beating Lehigh 68-43, Temple 63-46, Loyola of Chicago by 12 and Georgia Tech 60-54. They beat St. John’s 77-53 in the first round of Final Four.
Georgetown and Villanova faced each other twice in the regular season. Georgetown won both games by two and seven points.
Georgetown was an eight point favorite. Rollie Massimino, the Villanova coach, played slow down against Georgetown. It was a smart move.
North Carolina State did this against Houston two years earlier. It worked then and worked this time. The matchup was like David and Goliath matchup.
As mentioned earlier if the shot clock was in effect, Villanova would have lost by 15 or more points. Villanova took 28 shots for the game and made 22 for 28 for a shooting percentage of 78.6, a championship record.
Villanova hit nine out of 10 shots in the second half. The slow down strategy worked. This game is considered the biggest upset in the national championship game in tournament history.