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Villanova is still the lowest-seeded team to win the NCAA tournament, accomplishing the feat as a No. 8-seeded squad in 1985.
The significant part is that the Wildcats did it against a powerhouse Georgetown team. The Hoyas were ranked No. 1 in the country in 1985 and returned four starters from their 1984 national championship team, including Patrick Ewing.
As Roy Johnson of The New York Times noted, the title game "was supposed to be a coronation, a celebration of the mighty Georgetown Hoyas as one of college basketball's greatest teams."
The unranked Wildcats came into the tournament with a 19-10 record, having finished 9-7 in the Big East, five games behind Georgetown. The Hoyas had beaten Villanova twice during the regular season, but both games were close, with the Wildcats losing in overtime at home and falling by just seven points on the road.
Villanova had upset Memphis in the NCAA semifinals, but it was assumed the Wildcats would have to play virtually a perfect game to beat Georgetown in the title game. They almost did.
Georgetown did not play badly. The Hoyas hit 54.7 percent of their shots, outrebounded Villanova 17-14 and committed just 11 turnovers to 17 for the Wildcats. Those numbers suggest a Georgetown blowout.
But Villanova simply did not miss that night. The Wildcats went 22-of-28, a remarkable 78.6 percent from the field. They were even better in the second half, when they made 9-of-10 shots. The one miss resulted from a block by Ewing, and Villanova's Dwayne McClain claimed in a Sports Illustrated article that the missed "shot" was really a pass.
The Wildcats also made 22 of their 27 free throws (81.5 percent). And they still won by just two points.
Like many conferences that season, the Big East had played with a 45-second shot clock in 1984-85. However, a shot clock was not used in the 1985 NCAA tournament. That gave Villanova an advantage, although, as the Sports Illustrated article noted, Villanova exceeded 45 seconds on only two possessions in the title game.
It was the Wildcats' remarkable shooting that made the difference. McClain was 5-of-7 for 17 points. Ed Pinckney (pictured here with the Celtics) was 5-of-7 for 16 points. Harold Jensen was 5-of-5 for 14 points. Harold Pressley was 4-of-6 for 11 points, and Gary McLain took only three shots, but he made all three plus both of his free-throw attempts.