For even the best of teams, winning a national championship is hard. (Just ask a certain No. 1 overall seed.)
Since the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament expanded to 64 teams in the 1984-85 season, marking the dawn of what’s known as the sport’s modern era, just five programs have won multiple titles in a four-year span: Duke (1991, ’92); Kentucky (’96, ’98); Florida (2006, ’07); Connecticut (’11, ’14) and, after Monday night’s demolition of Michigan, Villanova (’16, ’18).
Rarer still, with the inherent roster turnover of successful programs, is the player with two titles in his career. Which makes Phil Booth’s career, after his second “One Shining Moment” in three years, all the more remarkable.
The former Mount Saint Joseph star guard and All-Metro Player of the Year is one of just 31 modern-era players who have won multiple championships. Here’s a look at his select company:
Duke: Christian Ast, Kenny Blakeney, Marty Clark, Brian Davis, Grant Hill, Thomas Hill, Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Antonio Lang
Kentucky: Allen Edwards, Nazr Mohammed, Jeff Sheppard, Wayne Turner
Florida: Jack Berry, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Walter Hodge, Al Horford, Lee Humphrey, Joakim Noah, Chris Richard, Brett Swanson, Garrett Tyler
Connecticut: Niels Giffey, Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander
Villanova: Phil Booth, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Tim Delaney, Donte DiVincenzo
After a redshirt junior season in which he averaged 10.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, Booth is expected to return to a team receiving early top-five billing heading into 2018-19.
Not quite old-school UCLA territory, but it’s getting there.