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Villanova senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono ended his storied college career Monday with a game-winning assist to Kris Jenkins in the Wildcats’ 77–74 victory over UNC in the national championship game. Arcidiacono, who was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, finished the game with 16 points, with nine of them coming in the second half.
On the heels of the dramatic win, here are three things to know about Arcidiacono.
His parents are Villanova alumni
Arcidiacono is the son of Patti and Joe Arcidiacono, who both graduated from Villanova in the early 1980s. His father played football for the Wildcats from 1976–80, and his mother lived in the same freshman hall as Villanova head coach Jay Wright’s wife.
“We both are from Bucks County, (Pa.),” Wright said. “Our high schools are right next to each other, rivals. He is — you know, if you grow up in Indiana, you aspire to play at Indiana, it's your dream school. But if you're in the northeast, there are so many schools around you. Both his parents went to Villanova. His mother was in my wife's freshman hall. The kid grew up watching Villanova basketball. Him putting on a Villanova jersey is like a kid at Alabama putting on an Alabama football jersey. He just lives it.”
Wright said Arcidiacono would play for Wildcats when he was in 7th grade
Arcidiacono attended a basketball camp at The Pavilion as a 12-year-old when Wright stopped him to say that he would one day play for the Wildcats.
According to reports, Wright said, “Your parents bled blue and white, and so will you some day.”
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” said Arcidiacono’s father Joe. “I remember thinking what a dream that would be.”
He was Villanova’s co-captain as a freshman
Following a 13–19 season in 2011, Arcidiacono arrived as a freshman at Villanova for the 2012 season. Not only did Arcidiacono start for the WIldcats as a freshman, but he was also named a team captain in his first season at Villanova.
“We made him captain as a freshman, and we’ve never done that,” Wright said. “Everybody that’s come in since then, he makes sure they respect the program and they respect the culture, on and off the court.”
Arcidiacono went on to captain the Wildcats for each of his four seasons, leading them to three Big East conference regular-season titles, and now, a national championship.