This is why the world of sports can be pure magic, the stuff of fables, a mystic pursuit of intoxicating passion in which people, who otherwise would be aloof to one another, are swept away in the larger torrent of fandom.
How could you not be a fan of Villanova after the plucky Wildcats scaled the Everest of their sport Monday night?
National championship on the line. Clock running down toward zeros. A mammoth crowd shoehorned into NRG Stadium in Houston. Millions watching on television.
Ryan Arcidiacono, whose last name has been a challenge for sportscasters to wrap their tongues around for four years, had the ball in his hands.
Arch is the epitome of a team player, the unselfish soldier who even embraces latrine duty.
Instead of fulfilling his boyhood fantasy of draining the winning shot in a moment of such magnitude, he passed the ball to Kris Jenkins.
Jenkins buried a deep three-pointer at the buzzer to give Villanova a corpuscle-popping, synapse-snapping, cortex-bobbing, throat-in-mouth gulping, cardiac-arrest-inducing 77-74 win over vaunted North Carolina and the school’s second NCAA Tournament championship in 31 years.
It was the perfect punctuation to a classic game chock full of ebbs and flows.
Hollywood could not have written a script with such delicious drama.