Shane Battier

From humble beginnings, 3-point shot now the key to a title

It used to be considered a gimmick, an experiment and even worse — a shot employed only by risk-taking coaches with teams that were big on dreams, short on talent and unafraid of the low-percentage play.

More than 30 years later, and with plenty of help from Billy Donovan, Steph Curry and Steve Nash, to name a few, the Villanova Wildcats have officially made shooting the 3 a bona fide way to win a championship.

Villanova is making 3s at record-setting levels this season, and with a win over Michigan in Monday's title game, might lay waste to the last vestiges of the once-sacrosanct notion that nobody could win big by lofting up the long shot without maintaining an...