NCAA: Top championship moments of 2015-16 in college athletics
What a year it was in college sports.
Countless spectacular moments transpired in the 2015-16 NCAA championship calendar, and as we eagerly await for fall sports to begin, it's fun to reflect on the phenomenal year that was. Buzzer-beaters, emotional triumphs, comebacks for the ages -- you name it, 2015-16 had it.
Here are the most memorable moments from this past year of championship action.
Division I Men’s Basketball: Villanova tops North Carolina for national championship on Kris Jenkins buzzer-beater
With the score tied in the national championship game in Houston, Ryan Arcidiacono dribbled up the floor looking to make a play.
Arcidiacono found his trailer, Kris Jenkins, for a wide-open 3. Jenkins hit nothing but net, and madness ensued.
And just like that, the Villanova Wildcats were national champions.
Division I Baseball: Coastal Carolina strands two Arizona runners in the ninth to win the College World Series
Of course the 2016 College World Series would come down to the wire. Coastal Carolina faced elimination five times in the postseason going into its winner-take-all Game 3 against Arizona in the final series, and survived in exhilarating fashion once again.
With two Arizona runners on in a one-run game, Alex Cunningham fanned his final batter en route to a championship. It was Coastal’s first College World Series title win in program history.
It's a great day to be a Chanticleer!https://t.co/xrWsYyr98V— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) July 1, 2016
Division I Men’s Lacrosse: North Carolina prevails in an overtime nail-biter
After a tough loss in the basketball national championship game, the Tar Heels would not be denied in men's lacrosse.
This bout went to overtime, where the next goal would win. Chris Cloutier, welcome to the college lacrosse history books:
Congratulations to the Tar Heels.
Division I Softball: Auburn completes wild comeback in Game 2 of the Women’s College World Series
Oklahoma may have won the Women’s College World Series, but Auburn’s Game 2 triumph was one of the craziest finishes we’ve seen on the softball diamond in years.
Auburn trailed 7-0 at one point in this game, and eventually chopped the deficit to 7-5. Then, it was Emily Carosone’s time to shine with the bases loaded:
Bam. The Tigers may have lost Game 3, but they put up a valiant effort in the series.
Division I Women’s Soccer: Penn State scores in 72nd minute to win the Women’s College Cup
Not only was Raquel Rodriguez a star college soccer player; she was a clutch one, too.
With Penn State and Duke scoreless in the 72nd minute of the College Cup title game, Rodriguez untied the score. Her goal was the only tally of the game, as the Nittany Lions prevailed by a count of 1-0.
Division II Football: Northwest Missouri State ties the DII title record
Northwest Missouri State tied a NCAA-II record by winning their fifth national championship with 34-7 win over Shepard. Former DII program North Dakota State previously held the lone spot for the most football championships.
It wasn’t the only record broken as 16,181 people attended the title game at Sporting Park, shattering the previous attendance record of 15,631 set in 1993.
Division II Women’s Lacrosse: Florida Southern tops two-time defending champ Adelphi
What better way to earn your program’s first national championship than defeating the sport’s biggest powerhouse? That is exactly what Florida Southern did with an 8-7 defeat over Adelphi, who entered with a perfect 7-0 record in title games.
The Moccasins made history as the first team not from Pennsylvania, New York or Massachusetts to win the DII women’s lacrosse title.
Division II Men’s Soccer: Pfeiffer becomes first undefeated national champion in 16 years
Pfeiffer captured its first championship with a dominating 4-0 victory over Cal Poly Pomona. The Falcons put it out of reach early, scoring two goals 97 seconds apart in the first four minutes of the match.
Pfeiffer joins 1999 Southern Connecticut State (20-0) and 1980 Lock Haven (21-0) as the only undefeated seasons in DII men’s soccer history.
Division II Women’s Basketball: Lubbock Christian wins national championship in its first year in the NCAA
Lubbock Christian became the first program to win the DII women’s basketball title in its first season of eligibility. Not only that, but the 35-0 Chaps were only the third program to finish the season undefeated.
Senior duo Kelsey Hoppel and Nicole Hampton found the perfect career ending by scoring 27 and 22 points respectively in the 78-73 win over Alaska-Anchorage.
Division II Men’s Lacrosse: Le Moyne’s top defense stifles Limestone’s top offense in the first title game between undefeated programs
Le Moyne’s No. 1 defense faced a tough challenge against Limestone’s No. 1 offense, who averaged nearly 20 goals per game. But the Dolphins were up to the task as they capped off a perfect 20-0 record with the 8-4 win in the national title game.
The Dolphins were only the fifth team to complete a perfect championship season on the DII lacrosse level and now hold three of the five undefeated seasons.
Division III Men's Lacrosse: Salisbury knocks off two-time defending champions Tufts for 11th title
For the third time in six years, the Division III men’s lacrosse championship once again came down to Tufts vs. Salisbury. The two programs entered the game combining for all the titles this decade except 2013. Tufts had won the past two, but the Sea Gulls ended the Jumbos’ chance at a three-peat with the 14-13 win in the title game.
With the win, Salisbury head coach Jim Berkman earned his 11th national title, the most by any NCAA lacrosse coach. The 2016 Sea Gulls tied the program's single-season win record with their 23 victories.
Division III Men's Soccer: Amherst comes from behind to win first DIII soccer championship
Allowing an early goal off a deflection in the ninth minute wasn’t an ideal start for Amherst in the DIII men’s national title game against Loras. But the Lord Jeffs responded with a pair of goals to seal the 2-1 comeback win and earn their first national championship.
Jackson Lenhart capped off a perfect corner kick set piece with his header in the 14th minute while Bryce Ciambella scored the game-winner in the 54th minute.
Division DIII Men's Volleyball: SUNY New Paltz wins its first NCAA championship
SUNY New Paltz men's volleyball accomplished something no other program at the university had done before with its 3-1 victory over Springfield. The Hawks claimed the school's first NCAA championship.
Christian Smith earned Most Valuable Player award for his impressive finals performance with 51 assists and 11 digs.
Division I Women’s Golf: Ying Luo holes out from 51 yards on 18 to win match as Washington emerges victorious in extra holes
Yes, this actually happened. You can’t make that sort of stuff up; not with the pressure and high stakes weighing on Luo at the time.
Even she was surprised her shot rattled home.
“I used my 64-degree wedge, and I couldn't believe it went in,” Luo said. “I was thinking to put that in, and I did it. I was thinking about Sarah [Rhee].”
That’s a moment Luo and the Huskies will remember for the rest of their lives.
Division I Men’s Golf: Riza sinks title-clinching putt in extra holes for Oregon
Sulman Riza was the epitome of clutch in the 2016 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, and the cherry on top was his title-winning putt in extra holes to beat Texas:
The whole ‘walk-off putt’ thing wasn’t new to Riza – he did the same thing the day before to advance the Ducks to the final match. What a clutch competitor.
Division I Women’s Water Polo: USC wins championship on goal scored with six seconds left
This may not have been a Kris Jenkins-style buzzer-beater, but you don’t see this often in a sport like water polo.
With six seconds left, Stephania Haralabidis stepped right up and sizzled one in from near half-tank, taking her Trojans to an 8-7 advantage. And that was all she wrote.
Division I Men’s Soccer: Clemson tops Syracuse on penalty kicks in the College Men's Cup semifinals
Say what you want about penalty kicks, but they sure are a good source of drama. Especially when a title match berth is on the line.
Clemson and Syracuse did battle in the form of PKs this past fall, and the Tigers topped the Orange.
Tiger goalie Andrew Tarbell was spectacular all night long, and he carried his dominance into the extra session.
Division I Women’s Volleyball: Nebraska wins the national title in front of a home crowd
Winning a national championship is a euphoric feeling in itself, but winning in front of your home fans? That’s the icing on the cake.
Going up against Texas in Omaha, the Cornhuskers swept the Longhorns en route to victory.
The record crowd was so loud that on match point, Texas’ Amy Neal served before the lead official had given her the go-ahead.
“I couldn’t hear,” Neal said to her bench.
There is nothing quite like positive, passionate fan support.
Division II Baseball: Nova Southeastern breezes through the bracket
The Division II baseball championship saw a fair amount of rain delays and postponements. But the weather didn't keep Nova Southeastern away as the Sharks navigated through the bracket undefeated to win their first title.
Nova Southeastern captured 4-3, 12-1 and 5-2 wins in Pool B play before sweeping Millersville 2-1 and 8-6 in the championship series.
Division II Swimming: Queens sweeps men's and women's championships for second straight year
When it comes to DII college swimming, look out for the Queens program at the national championships. For the second straight year, both the women's and men's swim teams brought home the hardware to Charlotte and won 13 individual events while breaking a total of seven NCAA DII records.
Patricia Castro-Ortega earned six individual titles for 200 IM, 400 IM, 500 free, 100 free, 400 freestyle relay and the 800 freestyle relay. The rising junior from Spain also broke the NCAA DII record in four events, including a time of 48.54 in the 100 freestyle.
Division II Men’s Track and Field: Saint Augustine makes it a four-peat in Florida
Track and field championships might as well become synonymous with the Saint Augustine program, who rolled to a fourth consecutive outdoor track and field title.
George Williams has transformed the Falcons into one of the premier championships programs in any sport. It was the 28th overall men's track and field title for Saint Augustine's and its 15th in the men's outdoor championship.
Division II Women’s Tennis: Armstrong State records program's 10th national championship
Armstrong State looked to be on the ropes against BYU-Hawaii after falling behind in the doubles points. But the Pirates quickly turned it around in singles play and defeated the Seasiders 5-3 for their 10th national championship.
Armstrong State already held the NCAA DII record for most women's tennis titles with five coming against BYU-Hawaii, who has the second most titles.
Division II Wrestling: Joey Davis finishes undefeated with four titles
Notre Dame College's Joey Davis added his name among the college wrestling elite. The senior 184-pounder captured his fourth individual title in a 3-1 bout and finished his career with a perfect 130-record.
Only four other DII wrestlers have won four national championships, but Davis is the first to do so without losing a single match.
"I never thought about something like this, about going undefeated in college,” Davis said. “To be able to have my names mentioned with some of the greats, it’s an amazing accomplishment for me."
Division III Women's Basketball: Thomas More goes undefeated for second straight title
Undefeated teams can be hard to come by, but not when it comes to the Division III women’s basketball championship. The previous three national champions all finished with perfect records and Thomas More continued that tradition with its second straight undefeated title.
Head coach Jeff Hans became only the third coach to lead a team to back-to-back titles in DIII women’s basketball. Coach Hans and the Saints will ride a 66-game winning streak into next season.
Division III Men’s Hockey: Wisconsin-Stevens Point snaps title game drought
Coming up short in back-to-back national championship games was tough for the Wisconsin-Stevens Point men’s hockey team. But the Pointers weren’t going to let history repeat itself in 2016 as they defeated St. Norbert 5-1 to earn their first title since 1993.
It marked the program's fifth overall championship, which put the Pointers in second-place for most DIII men's hockey titles.
Division III Women's Track and Field: Baldwin Wallace captures first indoor crown
Heading into 2016, only the football team at Baldwin Wallace was able to bring home a national title to Ohio back in 1978. But the women's track and field program changed that 38 years later by capturing the 2016 indoor title.
Seniors Kim Gallavan and Melanie Winters led the way with a combined three individual titles. Gallavan won in the national shot put and weight throw while Winters claimed first in the long jump. The Yellow Jackets nearly swept the titles in the spring but came up short in second place at the outdoor championships.