Sunday, April 3, 2022

Kansas v. N. Carolina

These two teams met for the National Championship in 1957, when Kansas had Wilt Chamberlain, and UNC won in triple overtime.  No team from the ACC or the Big East has lost a title game to a school not from the ACC or the Big East since Syracuse lost to Kentucky in 1996.

We can also wrap up our coverage of how things would have played out if the NCAA played in regions.  Here are the highlights from regional play:

1.  In Nashville, UK was eliminated by Memphis in the regional semi-finals, but then Memphis lost to Tennessee in the Eighth Region final.
2.  In Philadelphia, St. Peter's pulled a series of upsets, and took Villanova to overtime in the Third Region final, but the Wildcats won the game.
3.  In Greensboro, N. Carolina upset Duke 81-77 to win the Fifth Region, and end Coach K's career.
4.  In Austin, Houston knocked off Baylor to win the Thirteenth Region.  Texas and Texas Tech were eliminated in the regional semi-finals.
5.  In Tampa, Miami of Florida stunned Auburn 79-61 to win the Sixth Region.
6.  In Milwaukee, Iowa State shocked Wisconsin 54-49 to win the Eleventh Region.  Iowa and Illinois were eliminated in the regional semi-finals.
7.  In Los Angeles, UCLA beat Saint Mary's 72-56 to win the Sixteenth Region.
8.  In New Orleans, Arkansas beat LSU 79-67 to win the Seventh Region.
9.  In Kansas City, Kansas beat Creighton 79-72 to win the Twelfth Region.
10.  In Boston, Providence beat UConn 57-53 to win the First Region.
11.  The other regions went to St. John's, Virginia Tech, Ohio St., Purdue, Arizona, and Gonzaga.

The sixteen regional winners met up in Indianapolis for the National Championship.  Here's what happened:

First Round:
Kansas 76, Miami (Fla.) 50
Villanova 71, Tennessee 53
Arizona over Purdue
Houston over Gonzaga
N. Carolina over St. John's
UCLA over Ohio St.
Providence over Iowa St.
Arkansas over Virginia Tech

Quarter-Finals:
Kansas 81, Villanova 65
Houston 72, Arizona 60
N. Carolina 73, UCLA 66
Arkansas over Providence

Semi-Finals:
Kansas over Houston
N. Carolina over Arkansas

113 comments:

  1. Ken Pom has Kansas winning 80-74 tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We now have twenty-one Saturdays before College Football relaunches on September 3. Please use those Saturdays well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm happy South Carolina won the women's title. I root for Dawn Staley. I saw the 96 USA women's team play a scrimmage against China in Philadelphia and she was so much fun to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought of all of this when I saw that South Carolina won. Congratulations to Dawn Staley and you!

      Delete
  4. College football begins around Labor Day, and ends around New Year's, so college football fans get some nice holiday action around their season. College basketball begins the first week in November, and ends close to midnight Eastern time on the first Monday in April. All we get for months of anxiety and suffering is "One Shining Moment" followed by the transfer portal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. On the other hand, the end of college basketball does mean the Masters and the beginning of spring. Ever since the beginning of September, we Southerners have bashed each other through seven months of fury -- SEC v. ACC, Clemson v. Georgia, Kentucky v. North Carolina. But we can all agree on Bobby Jones and the Masters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tiger Woods tees off in 23 minutes, 35 seconds.

      Delete
  6. And then we have five months to recover before football season starts up again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. But before we can all go outside and enjoy the nice weather -- before we can all link up with our family members, and go shopping on Saturday, and do all the things that non-sports fans do on the weekend -- we have one more act tonight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't believe in mowing the grass until after the NCAA basketball tournaments.

      Delete
  8. Ever since North Carolina defeated Kentucky in the 1977 East Regional Final, I have rooted for the Tar Heels to lose every game they've played. So my interest in tonight's game is obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  9. On the other hand, since 1981 Carolina has lost only once in the National Championship game, and that was to a buzzer-beater from Villanova in 2016. And the Heels won it all the next year anyway. So my hopes are not high.

    ReplyDelete
  10. But Bill Self has beaten the Heels before, and I think his team is actually better than UNC's team. So Kansas should win tonight. But Wisconsin should have beaten Duke in 2015, and we all know how that worked out.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Besides, the last time UNC reached the final -- against Gonzaga -- here's what happened to the Zags' front line:

    Zach Collins: 5 fouls in 14 minutes
    Johnathan Williams: 4 fouls in 23 minutes
    Przemek Karnowski: 4 fouls in 29 minutes

    So long, thanks for playing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. For that matter, here's what happened to Duke (of all teams) on Saturday night:

    Mark Williams: 4 fouls in 16 minutes
    Theo John: 4 fouls in 14 minutes

    Duke's inability to keep Williams or John on the floor for significant minutes is a major reason why UNC out-rebounded Duke 50-41.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kansas depends on two players: David McCormack, their 6' 10" center, and Ochai Agbaji, their 6' 5" shooting guard. Here's what they did to Villanova:

    McCormack: 25 points, 9 rebounds
    Agbaji: 21 points (6-7 from 3-point range)

    If either of those guys gets in foul trouble, or otherwise doesn't play up to par, the Jayhawks will be in trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Another big X-factor is whether UNC will be hot from the outside. Here's what they've done lately:

    against Baylor: 11-25 from 3-point range
    against UCLA: 10-31 from 3-point range
    against St. Peter's: 6-22 from 3-point range
    against Duke: 10-26 from 3-point range

    So Carolina will take a lot of three's, and if they make them they will be very hard to beat.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Against Duke, UNC could pretty much fire away at will because they were getting so many rebounds. They got 17 offensive rebounds, which allowed them to extend a lot of possessions. Kansas is a bigger team than Duke, and KU has a significantly better defense than Duke. If the Jayhawks can avoid giving up second-chance points, and turn some of those three-point misses into runouts, they will be in a strong position.

    ReplyDelete
  16. In a lot of ways, this game feels like the 2014 game between UK and UConn. We were a number-8 seed that had stormed to the final through a series of close games, including a big upset over U of L. But UConn's physical front line neutralized ours, and UConn's guards were better than ours. That's the outcome Kansas needs to hope for tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I will say this: Under Bill Self, KU is just about the most dependable team in college basketball. They pretty much always do whatever they can, and when they lose it's usually because the other team makes a lot of jump shots. I don't think they'll lose because they get shoved around. And I don't think Self will tolerate a lot of nonsense from the officials -- he usually benefits from a very good whistle.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is the third straight tournament in which a Big 12 team has reached the final. Texas Tech lost to UVA in 2019, and Baylor blew out Gonzaga last year. No team from the SEC has reached the final since UK in 2014.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I still think Duke should have won this tournament. Of course, I thought Duke should have won the tournament in 1986, 1998, 1999, and 2002 as well. I still think we're all lucky that Coach K only won five titles in almost 40 tries.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anyway, I'm playing out the old year with "Heart-Shaped Box," the last song Nirvana ever played in concert:

    "Hey! Wait! I've got a new complaint
    Forever in debt to your priceless advice."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recently heard Dave Grohl on a podcast tell a story about traveling by himself in Scotland after Kurt Cobain's death. He just wanted to get away from everyone and everything, and, as he's driving down some rural road, he sees a guy walking along in a Kurt Cobain T-shirt. Grohl said he decided it was time to get back to work.

      Delete
  21. I feel exactly like how Ohio State fans must feel at the end of football season, when they have to watch Alabama play Georgia for the title. So I have a lot of complaints.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I haven't really watched UNC in the final since the 1993 game against Michigan. In 2005 and 2009, I knew they were going to win, so I didn't bother to watch. In 2016, I checked my phone with a minute to go, and I knew it was close, so I tuned in and saw Villanova win it all. In 2017, I watched the first few minutes, and it was pretty clear that Gonzaga had no prayer, so I didn't pay much attention to the rest of the game.

    ReplyDelete
  23. But I told myself that if sports ever came back, I would quit being such a whiner and spend more time watching the actual games. And that's what I'm going to do.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Now listening to Charlie Pride, "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'." That's the type of music we listen to in the off-season.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Kentucky is still ranked number 6 on Ken Pom. So from Ken Pom's perspective, this is UK's best team since 2017. Of course, they were number 279 in luck. KU is number 104 in luck. UNC is number 29.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Here's UK's record in Tournament games decided by four points or less, or decided in Overtime, since Cal started coaching the team:

    03/17/11: Kentucky 59, Princeton 57 (W)
    03/25/11: Kentucky 62, Ohio St. 60 (W)
    04/02/11: Connecticut 56, Kentucky 55 (L)
    03/21/14: Kentucky 78, Wichita St. 76 (W)
    03/30/14: Kentucky 75, Michigan 72 (W)
    04/05/14: Kentucky 74, Wisconsin 73 (W)
    03/28/15: Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66 (W)
    03/19/17: Kentucky 65, Wichita St. 62 (W)
    03/26/17: N. Carolina 75, Kentucky 73 (L)
    03/22/18: Kansas St. 61, Kentucky 58 (L)
    03/29/19: Kentucky 62, Houston 58 (W)
    03/31/19: Auburn 77, Kentucky 71 (OT) (L)
    03/17/21: St. Peter's 85, Kentucky 79 (OT) (L)

    ReplyDelete
  27. That's a record of 8-5, which belies the notion that Cal can't coach and can't win close games. What is striking is that after years of close wins and deep tournament, UK has gone out in heartbreaking fashion in four straight tournaments:

    2017: lost on buzzer beater to UNC
    2018: lost by three points to K-State, due largely to missed FT's (23-37)
    2019: lost in overtime to Auburn, more missed FT's (12-21)
    2022: lost in overtime to St. Peter's, went 23-35 from the line

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's easy to say that luck doesn't matter, but of course it does. UK won a lot of close games between 2011 and 2015, and lost a bunch since then. Of course, a win only gets you to the next round, while a loss means your season is over. But if you don't like it, consider the following team:

    2017: Went 28-9, lost in the second round to South Carolina
    2018: Went 29-8, lost in the elite eight to Kansas in OT
    2019: Went 32-6, lost in the elite eight to Michigan St. 68-67
    2021: Missed the tournament
    2022: Went 32-7, lost in the final four to UNC, 81-77

    That's how Coach K did in his last five seasons. Imagine how UK fans would feel if we'd lost those games with those players. This tournament is really hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw those losses to KU, Michigan State, and UNC -- Kentucky fans would have been merciless if we'd lost those games.

      Delete
  29. But the Cats are now due for some luck, and I think our situation will improve.

    ReplyDelete
  30. In the meantime, I'm going with the Jim Nantz TV audio for tonight. During the season, I do all sorts of experimentation with audio. I listen to music in games, I sync the radio broadcast, and sometimes I'll listen to the TV audio. But tonight, with this being the End of the Road, it feels appropriate to give Nantz his due.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I won't do that for Joe Buck, by the way. I haven't heard him call a single game in the last 15 years. But he's leaving Fox, so I don't know what I'll do with the World Series this year.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Now listening to a cover version of "Heart-Shaped Box" by the Scarlet Furies. I recommend it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. To make all the sportswriters happy, we open with a New Orleans Preservation Hall-type jazz version of the National Anthem. People who think sportswriters are cynics who don't love anything have never heard sportswriters talk about New Orleans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This made me laugh out loud, as, if you had asked me in 1994 when I was still a sports writer, I would've absolutely identified New Orleans as my favorite city.

      Delete
  34. Jim Nantz tells us that the City of New Orleans is an "American Treasure."

    ReplyDelete
  35. Nantz introduces the UNC starters:

    Leaky Black (F) (Sr.) (Concord, N.C.)
    Brady Manek (F) (Sr.) (Harrah, Okla.)
    Armondo Bacot (Jr.) (Richmond, Va.)
    Caleb Love (So.) (St. Louis)
    R.J. Davis (So.) (White Plains, N.Y.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bacot is the center; Love and Davis are guards.

      Delete
  36. Now for KU:

    Jalen Wilson (F) (So.) (Denton, Tex.)
    David McCormack (F) (Sr.) (Norfolk, Va.)
    Christian Braun (G) (Jr.) (Burlington, Kan.)
    Dajuan Harris, Jr. (G) (Columbia, Mo.)
    Ochai Agbaji (G) (Kansas City, Mo.)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Agbaji opens with a 3-pointer. If he's hot, he's amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  38. KU leads 9-3 with 16:49 left in the first half. McCormack hit Manek in the head on his last shot, and Manek fell. They stopped the game, but the officials concluded that McCormack did nothing wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  39. KU leads 9-3 with 15:56 left. UNC is 1-7 from the field so far.

    ReplyDelete
  40. With 14:06 left in the first half, McCormack picks up his first foul. Love makes two FT's, and KU's lead is 11-9. Carolina getting a lot of rebounds.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Bacot gets a three-point play off of yet another offensive rebound, and UNC leads 12-11 with 13 minutes left.

    ReplyDelete
  42. As I expected, KU is missing all the outside shots they made against Villanova. They are now 5-13 from the field. KU leads 13-12 with 12 minutes left.

    ReplyDelete
  43. KU is bigger and more athletic than UNC, as we thought, but they are really struggling to make open shots. Jayhawks now 1-4 from 3-point range, and 5-12 from 2-point range. UNC is doing even worse: 1-6 from 3-point range, and 3-11 from 2-point range. But UNC is getting a lot of second-chance points. KU leads 15-12 with 10:45 left in the first half, but UNC will be shooting free throws out of the timeout.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Agbaji and McCormack have combined to go 4-6 from the field; the rest of the Kansas team is 2-10. I really think Agbaji and McCormack should take at least half of KU's shots tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Kansas jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the beginning, and had multiple chances to break the game open, but just kept missing shots. Now UNC is starting to roll. The Heels have scored 8 points in a row, they have 14 second-chance points, and UNC leads 22-18 with 7:53 left in the first half.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Now McCormack and Agbaji are 4-8, with 9 points, and the rest of KU is 3-14, with 9 points. Bacot has 7 points and 5 rebounds, and his ankle doesn't seem to be bothering him too much. Mitch Lightfoot, KU's backup center, already has two fouls.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Last three possessions for Kansas:

    They go inside to McCormack and he scores.
    They throw a bad entry pass to McCormack and he walks
    Braun tries to pass to McCormack and throws the ball away

    ReplyDelete
  48. What's been keeping Kansas in the game has been UNC's inability to make outside shots. But now Manek makes two 3-pointers in a row, and the Heels are up 28-22 with 5:05 left. Bill Self calls time. The problem is that UNC has five guys who can score, and KU only has two.

    ReplyDelete
  49. KU comes out of the timeout and misses another layup, which is mainly what they do. Bacot humiliates Lightfoot at the other in, and draws Lightfoot's third foul. Bacot makes one of two FT's, and the Heels lead 29-22 with 4:38. Looks very easy for UNC right now.

    ReplyDelete
  50. KU tries a lob to McCormack, but it sails over his head. UNC gets a runout. Davis shoots a three -- and McCormack commits his SECOND foul. So that's two on McCormack and three on Lightfoot. Davis makes all three FT's, and the Heels lead 32-22 with 4:17 left. KU won't ever give up, but their players just aren't good enough to hang with UNC.

    ReplyDelete
  51. In retrospect, UNC beat Baylor, UCLA, and Duke -- and all those teams are better than KU. By contrast, KU played Creighton, Providence, Miami (Fla.), and Villanova. Nova was the only one of those teams that was any good, and the Wildcats were missing their best player. Plus KU hit everything in that game. Now the Jayhawks are missing everything. Normally, KU makes up for their poor shooting with great physicality. But UNC is just shoving KU all over the place. The Heels have 21 rebounds and 12 free throws. KU has 16 rebounds and 2 free throws.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Kansas has completely fallen apart. UNC has scored 14 points in a row. The Heels lead 36-22 with 2:40 to go. Self calls time, but there's no way KU makes up a 14-point deficit in less than 23 minutes of game time.

    ReplyDelete
  53. McCormack and Agbaji are 5-10 from the field for 11 points. The rest of KU is 4-20 for 11 points.

    ReplyDelete
  54. If you go back through all these comments, you'll see that a few weeks ago I predicted that KU would not be able to keep it close against UNC or Duke. I thought it would be closer than this, but honestly I'm not that surprised.

    ReplyDelete
  55. We've seen this so many times -- a midwestern team makes a dramatic run through the tournament, and then collapses against UNC or Duke in the final. In 2009, Michigan State beat Kansas, Louisville, and UConn -- and then lost to UNC by 17. In 2015, Wisconsin beat Arizona and Kentucky -- and then fell apart down the stretch against Duke. In that same year, Michigan State beat UVA, Oklahoma, and Louisville -- then lost to Duke by 20 in the Final Four.

    ReplyDelete
  56. We could give other examples -- Illinois went 37-1 in 2005 before losing to UNC in the final. The Fab Five lost to Duke and UNC in back-to-back finals. It's quite a legacy really.

    ReplyDelete
  57. But this will go down as one of the most humiliating of all. Kansas was 33-6 coming into this game, and had won 10 games in a row. The Jayhawks won the Big XII regular season, and the Big XII tournament. They were number 3 in the AP Poll, and number 3 on Ken Pom. They won their Elite Eight game by 26. They won their Final Four game by 16. And they jumped out to a 7-0 lead IN THIS GAME.

    ReplyDelete
  58. By contrast, UNC is a number 8 seed. They beat Baylor in OT. They barely survived against UCLA. They barely survived against Duke. They immediately fell behind 7-0 to start the game. And so far, UNC is 3-11 from 3-point range and 9-22 from 2-point range. BUT THEY LEAD BY FIFTEEN POINTS, 40 TO 25.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Charles Barkley thinks that KU spent too much time trying to get the ball in to McCormack. But he doesn't realize that KU's other players are just terrible. Christian Braun is 1-7 from the field. Jalen Wilson is 1-6. Remy Martin is 1-5. Those guys just can't score against good competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Braun finished 6-14 with 12 points, Wilson finished 5-13 with 15 points, and Martin finished 5-9 with 14 points. Martin made four three-pointers in the second half. So these guys did better than I expected.

      Delete
  60. Normally, KU can make up for its offensive shortcomings by dominating the rim, playing tough defense, and getting to the line. But none of that works against UNC. Carolina has outrebounded KU 27-18. UNC has 18 second-chance points; KU has only 2. UNC has 16 free throws; KU has only 4.

    ReplyDelete
  61. What will hurt Self and the KU fans the most is that they are getting beat on exactly the type of hustle plays and physical effort in which they normally take so much pride. UNC isn't making amazing shots, or showing spectacular skill. They are simply getting every critical rebound, and every 50-50 ball, while forcing KU to miss shot after shot at the rim.

    ReplyDelete
  62. This game looks a lot like the game where UK pounded KU down at Lawrence. The Cats dominated the boards -- they outrebounded KU 41-29. And they turned a lot of those rebounds into runouts. At the half, UK lead 51-31, and then they cruised the rest of the way.

    ReplyDelete
  63. The reality is that KU isn't used to playing teams that beat them on the glass, and when they do, they tend to get discouraged.

    ReplyDelete
  64. So this will be UNC's seventh national title, putting them only one behind UK. Their titles are in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017, and 2022. It's pretty safe to assume that they will win at least two more titles over the next ten years, so the Cats had better get their act together.

    ReplyDelete
  65. As had UCLA. The Bruins have 11 titles, but UNC is almost certain to reach that figure by 2040.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, if Duke fails to keep pace, UNC could reach that figure by 2030.

      Delete
  66. One final point. I've mentioned several times on this blog how KU always has a strong "luck" score -- in large part because the Jayhawks tend to get all the calls in close games in the Big XII. I really think this hurts KU in the tournament -- they just aren't used to getting shoved around, and they don't respond very well.

    ReplyDelete
  67. It takes only 90 seconds for McCormack to pick up his third foul.

    ReplyDelete
  68. But as we said, Kansas doesn't give up. KU finally plays some defense, gets some rebounds, and makes some layups. UNC leads 45-37 with 15:40 left.

    ReplyDelete
  69. If KU hadn't panicked at the end of the first half, they would have been down by only 8-10 points. Instead they were down by 15, and that's much harder to come back from.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Suddenly the Jayhawks are roaring. They have stopped giving up second-chance points, and they are finally making their shots at the rim. KU is on a 20-6 run to open the second half, and UNC's lead is now only 46-45 with 12:41 left. UNC calls time as we now have bedlam in New Orleans.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Self has also implemented a new set, where McCormack is out at the free throw line and he's passing down to the guards under the basket. UNC now leads 48-47 with 11:36 left.

    ReplyDelete
  72. The one problem for KU, ironically enough is Agbaji. He's missed four free throws in this half, and he has a three for the lead which goes in and out. UNC scores at the other end to go up 50-47. But then Agbaji scores and is fouled. This time he makes the FT and the game is tied at 50 with 10:53 left in the season.

    ReplyDelete
  73. KU eventually goes up 56-50, but then UNC starts playing again. With the score tied at 57, Agbaji is called for a charge. UNC throws the ball in to Bacot, who immediately draws Lightfoot's fourth foul.

    ReplyDelete
  74. KU:
    20-42 from 2-point range
    3-12 from 3-point range
    8-14 from the line
    57 points

    UNC:
    14-36 from 2-point range
    5-18 from 3-point range
    14-18 from the line
    57 points

    7:48 left in the season. UNC ball.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Agbaji made his first six three-pointers against Villanova. He's 1-4 from 3-point range tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  76. During a frantic stretch, KU makes two three-pointers (Martin and Wilson). UNC responds with two two-pointers. KU leads 63-61 with 4:37. At this point, Puff Johnson -- who has come off the bench to score 11 points for the Heels -- appears to be ill. He has to leave the game.

    ReplyDelete
  77. UNC is now doing that thing they did down the stretch against us in 2017, where they can do whatever they want within 10 feet of the goal on defense, and it's not a foul. Bacot hammers Martin on a drive to the basket, and of course it's not a foul, but Martin scores anyway. 65-61. UNC comes down, misses, but of course gets its own rebound -- and McCormack picks up his fourth foul. 3:45 left in the season.

    ReplyDelete
  78. UNC has now outrebounded KU 48-34.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Bacot makes both FT's. KU leads 65-63 with 3:30 left. KU turns it over. Love drives and misses, Manek gets another rebound, and KU fouls him. Manek makes both FT's, and we're tied at 65 with 3:06 left.

    ReplyDelete
  80. KU comes down and works the ball to McCormack. Bacot almost shoves him out of bounds. No call. He throws the ball out, and Martin hits a three. 68-65. Love comes back down and drives straight to the basket. McCormack, with four fouls, can't play defense. 68-67. KU comes down and can't run its offense -- UNC is now pushing and grabbing everyone, and KU is lucky to hold on to the ball. Finally they miss a three, and Manek gets a lob dunk at the other end. UNC leads 69-68 with 1:35 left.

    ReplyDelete
  81. McCormack misses, gets his own rebound, and scores. KU 70-69.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Love drives, but his shot is blocked out of bounds. UNC inbounds to Bacot, whose ankle gives out on him. He falls to the floor. KU has the ball and a 5 on 4 opportunity, but the KU players just stand around and dribble. Finally, the officials stop the game. Bacot is replaced. KU ball with 38.5 seconds left.

    ReplyDelete
  83. With Bacot on the sidelines, Manek is left to guard McCormack. That doesn't work. McCormack scores over Manek to put KU up 72-69. 30 seconds left. Love tries a long 3, which misses. UNC gets the rebound. They try another 3-pointer. It misses. They get the rebound again -- but THROW THE BALL OUT OF BOUNDS. KU ball with 4.6 seconds left.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I'm pretty sure that no fouls have been called on UNC in the last eight minutes of game time.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Kansas inbounds the ball to Harris, who is running up the sidelines and who immediately steps out of bounds. UNC will get the ball at KU's end of the court with 4 seconds to go. I haven't seen any team make that mistake all year.

    ReplyDelete
  86. That's truly unbelievable. KU literally could have thrown the ball to the other end of the floor, and given it to UNC, and they'd be in better shape than they are now.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Back in 2008, KU was down 3, Memphis did not foul, and KU hit a three to send the game to OT, where the Jayhawks won. What will Self do now?

    ReplyDelete
  88. Self does NOT foul. He plays defense. Love gets the ball, as Manek fell down. From about 28 feet, he heaves a three-pointer that misses. THE GAME IS OVER. CAROLINA IS BEATEN. KANSAS WINS THE GAME, 72 TO 69.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Kansas:
    23-49 from 2-point range
    6-17 from 3-point range
    8-14 from the line
    72 points, 35 rebounds, 9 turnovers

    UNC:
    18-50 from 2-point range
    5-23 from 3-point range
    18-22 from the line
    69 points, 55 rebounds, 13 turnovers

    ReplyDelete
  90. Jim Nantz tells us that we just saw "A SECOND HALF JAYHAWK JUGGERNAUT." In the second half, KU outscored UNC 47-29. Biggest halftime comeback in the history of the NCAA Tournament.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barkley says that KU stopped trying to run their half-court offense and started attacking. But down the stretch, when no easy baskets were available, KU's half-court offense saved the game.

      Delete
    2. McCormack and Agbaji ended up going 10-20 from 2-point range, and 1-4 from 3-point range, and scoring 27 points. The rest of the team went 13-29 from 2-point range, and 5-13 from 3-point range, and scoring 45 points.

      Delete
    3. The KU offense got better in the second half, but the Jayhawks still scored only 0.99 points per possession for the game. The real key to KU's success was its defense -- UNC shot 36 percent from 2-point range, and only 21.7 percent from 3-point range. Caleb Love -- who killed UCLA and Duke -- went 4-16 from 2-point range, and only 1-8 from 3-point range.

      Delete
    4. Ken Pom's MVP for the game was Brady Manek, who had 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Of the 10 starters in the game, only Manek and Jalen Wilson had offensive efficiency ratings above 100.

      Delete
  91. One of the best things about this outcome is that the UNC fans will now blame Davis for failing to stop KU's run at the beginning of the second half.

    ReplyDelete
  92. So the NCAA titles stay like this:

    UCLA: 11
    Kentucky: 8
    UNC: 6
    Duke: 5
    Indiana: 5

    ReplyDelete
  93. To be fair, UNC had one guy who got sick with a few minutes left, and another player -- probably their best player -- whose ankle gave out on him with less than a minute to go. On the other hand, why should we be fair to the Tar Heels?

    ReplyDelete
  94. Here's the final ranking on all-time wins:

    Kansas: 2,357-877 (.729)
    Kentucky: 2,353-736 (.762)
    N. Carolina: 2,323-839 (.735)

    We'll see you all in November.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Armando Bacot has announced that he is returning to UNC next season. We congratulate the Tar Heels on winning the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

      Delete
    2. Meanwhile, Keion Brooks and Jacob Toppin are looking into their chances with the NBA.

      Delete
  95. Tiger Woods tees off in 11 minutes, 35 seconds.

    ReplyDelete