Kansas Tops UNC In National Championship Basketball Game!

Kendall Mealy, Staff Writer

Entering the final four Kansas remained the final #1 seed still in the tournament. Also in the final four was #2 Villanova, #2 Duke, and #8 North Carolina. Saturday, April 2, The Kansas Jayhawks faced off with The Villanova Wildcats. The leaders for Kansas were David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji scoring 25 and 21 points respectively. The Jayhawks were 13 for 24 in 3-point attempts throughout the game. Collin Gillespie led the way for the Wildcats putting up 17 points. After winning the tip-off Kansas put on the pressure and didn’t let up. Kansas rolled into the national championship game after the 81-65 win over Villanova. 

The second final four game was North Carolina vs. Duke. This game not only had a spot in the national championship riding on it but it was a face off of the North Carolina rivals. Pablo Banchero led the Blue Devils with 20 points. Caleb Love led the charge for North Carolina scoring 28 points throughout the game. This was a battle through and through. The game held 18 lead changes and 12 ties, each team found a way to fight back and secure a lead. However, North Carolina left the Superdome with a win over Duke in their first match up in the NCAA tournament and a chance to play for a championship.

The Kansas Jayhawks win over the Tip-Off to get the first possession of the game. The Jayhawks came out on fire, after the first 3 minutes they jumped out to a 9-3 lead. After a few free throws from UNC’s Armando Bacot, the Tarheels took the 12-11 lead. The Tarheels turned it up after a travel call on Kansas right in front of the UNC bench. The Tar Heels got to halftime with a 40-25 lead over the Jayhawks. Kansas came back electric after halftime, cutting the 15 point lead almost in half. With back-to-back layups by Kansas’ Christian Braun and a few free throws the Jayhawks made it a 45-37 game. With 13 minutes left in the 2nd half, Kansas has made it a one possession game, cutting the score to 46-45. Now down by 3 UNC’s Puff Johnson shoots for 3-points to tie the game and picks up the charge on the Kansas defense. After a quick basket by Caleb Love, UNC leads 69-68. David McCormack scored the final four points for Kansas giving them the last lead in the game. After a 3 point miss to tie the game by UNC and the best comeback win in championship history, Kansas picked up its 4th national championship. McCormack led the Jayhawks with 15 points and Caleb Love and Brady Manek each had 13 points.