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Kansas Jayhawks win the 2022 Men’s Basketball National Championship completing the biggest comeback in the history of the NCAA Tournament championship.
NEW ORLEANS – Epic. The only word to describe Monday night’s national title game.
On one hand, you have Hubert Davis’s exuberant passion, Armando Bacot’s pure domination, and Brady Manek’s balls of steel.
On the other, Bill Self’s constant motivation, David McCormack’s clutch scoring and Christian Braun’s gritty double-double.
Kansas jumped to a 7-0 lead to start the game and appeared as if they were ready to exert their will as they did in Saturday’s Final Four matchup against Villanova.
UNC and Hubert Davis had other plans.
The Tar Heels responded by going on a 16-0 run powered by Bacot’s first-half double-double and Manek’s sharpshooting from long range.
There’s no question that North Carolina flat-out bullied the Jayhawks in the first half en route to a 40-25 halftime lead.
Kansas appeared helpless.
The Jayhawks went into halftime knowing they better get it together, or their championship dreams would be shattered.
They received a jolt early in the second half when McCormack penetrated the lane for an electrifying dunk which sparked a 20-6 Kansas run.
With 10:37 left to play, the score was tied at 50, and from this point, it was game on. The two teams battled back and forth relentlessly.
With 4.6 seconds remaining, the Jayhawks held a three-point lead and possession of the ball. On the inbound, Kansas point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. stepped out of bounds giving UNC one final chance to send the game into overtime.
Caleb Love received the inbound pass with 4.3 seconds left. He took several dribbles and launched a fadeaway three-pointer that missed the rim, giving Kansas a 72-69 victory.
The win marked the second NCAA championship for Coach Bill Self and the fourth for the Kansas Jayhawk basketball program.
Big 12 Conference
The Jayhawk victory also marks a milestone for the Big 12 conference as it now has back-to-back national champions, with Baylor winning it all in 2021.
Questions regarding the future of the Big-12 began to surface after OU and Texas announced they were defecting to the SEC.
Will the Big-12 remain a Power-5 conference? Is this the beginning of the end for the Big-12? How competitive can they be across the national landscape?
If Monday night is any indication, I’d say the Big-12 will be just fine.
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