By Ron Griffitts
The 1985 men’s NCAA final was held in Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky on April 1, 1985 between the Villanova Wildcats (24-10) coached by Rollie Massimino and the Georgetown Hoyas (35-1) coached by John Thompson who were appearing in the second consecutive NCAA final.
Villanova got past Dayton 51-49, Michigan 59-55, Maryland 46-43, and North Carolina 56-44 and defeated Memphis 52-45 in the national semifinal to get to the final.
They were led by 6’ 9” senior forward Ed Pinkney (15.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg), 6’ 7” junior forward Harold Pressley (12.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg), 6’ 0” senior guard Gary McClain (4.3 apg) and 6’ 5” senior guard Dwayne McClain (14.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg).
Georgetown defeated Lehigh 68-43, Temple 63-46, Loyola 65-53, Georgia Tech 60-54 and St. John’s 77-59 in the semifinal to reach the final.
They were led by 7’ 0” senior center Patrick Ewing (14.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg), 6’ 5” junior guard David Wingate (12.4 ppg), 6’ 7” senior forward Bill Martin (12.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg), 6’ 7” sophomore forward Reggie Williams (11.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and 6’ 2” junior guard Michael Jackson (6.7 apg).
The game was close throughout with Villanova, the number eight seed in the southeast reginal, holding a one point lead at halftime 29-28 over the number one seed in the east and heavily favored to win the tournament, Georgetown.
Even though the Hoyas were a big favorite, the scores from their previous two meetings were only 52-50 and 57-50 with Georgetown winning both games.
But it is difficult to defeat a team three times in one season and this proved to be true in 1985.
Villanova, with an unbelievable 78.6 field goal percentage and 22 of 27 from the free throw line, prevailed 66-64 against the Hoyas who made 54.7% of their field goals and 6 of 8 from the free throw line.
Villanova had 17 turnovers to Georgetown’s 11 but Georgetown had seven more field goals. However the Wildcats won the game at the free throw line, scoring sixteen more points there than the Hoyas.
Dwayne McClain led the Wildcats in scoring with 17 points and Ed Pinkney added 16, Harold Jensen 14 and Harold Pressley 11.
David Wingate led the Hoyas with 16 points, Patrick Ewing had 14 and Bill Martin and Reggie Williams each had 10 points each.
Ed Pinkney got the most outstanding player of the game award in helping Villanova to its first NCAA title.
Patrick Ewing went on to a 17 yearlong Hall of Fame career in the NBA mostly with the New York Knicks but did not win a title there with Georgetown’s previous year’s team being the only team in his college and professional career that won a national title.
Statistics for this article were from sports-reference.com and YouTube.com.