|#1||Kansas (34-3) ||78|
|#1||Memphis (38-2) ||76|
San Antonio, TX - Rock Chalk. The Kansas Jayhawks (34-3) again utilize their incredible balance and shooting ability to hold off the ultra-quick Memphis Tigers (38-2) and win an exciting, back-and-forth national championship game - their third NCAA championship and first in 20 years.
Memphis led 32-31 at halftime, but Sherron Collins hit a three point shot on Kansas' first possession of the second half and the Jayhawks never trailed again. They almost did though. Despite a Kansas lead of 11 soon after that, Memphis was able to close the gap with a run of its own. With 45 seconds remaining Robert Dozier's tip off of a Derrick Rose missed floater closed the gap to 75-73. Memphis elected not to foul and watched Kansas run clock for 32 seconds before Darrell Arthur hit a jumper from about 12 feet out on the right wing. Little used Doneal Mack came in to hit a three and bring the game back within one point with two seconds remaining, but Memphis could not steal or foul in time and Kansas emerged victorious.
Arthur and teammate Mario Chalmers, who struggled with foul trouble in the previous game, led the way with 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four blocks (to go with another eight fouls) between the two of them. Brandon Rush shot relatively poorly again, yet still contributed 13 points and five rebounds. On a balanced team like this, it's very tough to name a Final Four Most Outstanding Player, but Rush gets the award with two decent games and 89 points for the tournament.
Memphis' woes from the free throw line could be blamed for the loss because they only hit 15-28, but that's not much different than Kansas' poor 18-30 performance. The bigger factor in the loss is the enigmatic play of Derrick Rose. Rose puts up just 5 points on 1-6 shooting and only two assists.
On the flip side, Chris Douglas-Roberts did very well again with 16 points on 6-12 shooting to pull him ahead of Stephen Curry as the tournament's leading scorer at 130 points.
It may be tough for Jayhawks to repeat if Chalmers, Rush and Arthur all declare for the NBA draft since Russell Robinson, Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson are all seniors. But, with good contributions from and experienced gained in the tournament by sophomore Sherron Collins and freshman Cole Aldrich, to go with a recruiting class ranked in the top ten by Scout.com, this team could compete again.
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