VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Phil Booth can live with hitting only Villanova’s second-biggest buzzer beater in a national championship game.
Let’s throw it back to April 2016 in Houston.
“Five seconds to go in the half. Booth. He has time. Looks up, puts it up. And got it!” TBS announcer Jim Nantz said.
“Big time dagger. Booth!” analyst Bill Raftery said.
Just like that, Booth’s jumper at the horn cut North Carolina’s lead to 5 at halftime.
Nantz and Raftery are about as good as it gets in the broadcast booth, but let one of the stars of the game call this one.
“That was more of a scramble around. Clock went down. Josh (Hart) made a great block and I was just trying to find a spot. I was seeing guys coming down the court trying to catch guys in transition,” Booth said as he watched a highlight reel on YouTube . “I saw the clock running, so I had to make a play; either pass or shoot it, so I found a spot at the foul line.”
Kris Jenkins won the NCAA title with a 3 at the buzzer and stuffed trophy cases at Villanova’s state-of-the art complex.
But ask your friends at a local Nova hangout such as Kelly’s Taproom who was the leading scorer in that game, and you might win a round stumping them on Booth. Booth, now a 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior guard, averaged only 7 points that season and was scoreless in 12 minutes against Kansas in the regional final. Against the Tar Heels, Booth scored a career-high 20 on 6 of 7 shooting (two 3s) and 6 of 6 free throws.
“I didn’t really know or pay attention to how many points I had until I got to my phone and saw all the texts,” he said. “I had no idea. I just knew we won the game.”
Booth also knew he couldn’t play much more on a painful left knee that even ached in warmups against the Tar Heels. Booth has no idea how the knee was…