Villanova’s title last month gave the Wildcats the opportunity to visit with the President of the United States on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
“It is the Blue and White House today,” President Barack Obama said, “because we’re giving it up for the 2016 NCAA champion Villanova Wildcats.”
The Wildcats were customarily honored by the President on Tuesday for their 77-74 title game win over North Carolina that featured Kris Jenkins’ now-legendary 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“It might be maybe the best title game of all-time,” Obama said. “Just the last few seconds could be a documentary.”
The President mentioned Marcus Paige’s circus shot that tied the game shot seconds before Jenkins’ game-winner.
“A lot of teams would have had their spirit broken,” Obama said. “The wildcats, they took control. They responded.”
That response was Jenkins’ 3 as time expired to place himself in the game’s lore with perhaps the best finish ever for an NCAA championship game.
“That was a good shot,” Obama deadpanned. “It was like a Christian Laettner shot, it was like a Jimmy V(alvano) running up and down the court shot. Charles Barkley apparently jumped out of his seat, which he doesn’t do very often these days.”
Villanova also presented the 44th President with a No. 44 jersey that the team used on Dec. 7, 2015, at Pearl Harbor against Oklahoma.
“This is a great day for Villanova University,” coach Jay Wright said.
Wright didn’t get out of the day without a goodnatured needling from the President.
“Best-dressed man in college basketball,” Obama said. “The George Clooney of coaches.”
The President also noted that Vice President Joe Biden picked ‘Nova to win it all before the tournament.
“This team possessed something that the coaches preached since day one,” Obama said, “and that’s attitude.”