By Trashtalk Superstar
Last night, Kansas beat Memphis 75-68 in overtime to win the 2008 NCAA National Championship. The Jayhawks overcame a 9 point deficeit in the final 2:12 minutes of regulation to tie the game--thanks to a Mario Chalmers three pointer with 2.1 seconds left on the clock--and force the overtime period. But in overtime, Kansas jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back.
As the Kansas City Star notes, Kansas senior Russell Robinson opined:
"You couldn't have written it any better."In a year in which all four #1 seeds advanced to the Final Four (for first time in the history of the NCAA Tournament), many observers were surprised by how uncompetitive Saturday's Semifinal games ultimately proved to be. Despite many prognosticators' high expectations for a memorable Final Four, Memphis and Kansas had--for all intents and purposes--run their respective opponents (UCLA and North Carolina) off the floor. And on a larger scale, most observers were similarly disappointed by the lack of competitiveness of this year's Elite 8 and Sweet 16.
If 2006 was the year of the Cinderella, 2008 was the year of the blowout win by the higher seeded team.
But last night's Championship Game provided enough excitement and drama to make up for an otherwise disappointing Final Four.
Yet despite the game's dramatic finish, things didn't go according to plan for Memphis and Kansas:
"This was not the smooth-running, fast-paced, high-scoring game everyone was expecting to see. As happens more often as not, things didn't quite work out the way they had been envisioned. The 2008 NCAA Tournament Championship Game was such a thing...(Hat tip: Associated Content).
The Memphis Tigers were denied passage to the lane most of the night. Kansas owned the paint on the opposite end of the court, playing their regular game. Even so, the game remained tight throughout, aided by some sloppy ball handling by both teams. Kansas was not hitting three-pointers and Memphis was. And Derrick Rose, Memphis' second leading scorer, went cold for 24 and a half minutes (16 and a half in the first half).
Memphis was definitely out of sync. Memphis' Joey Dorsey was not blocking out Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson like he did all those other big guys on those other teams. Kansas was simply denying Memphis their game."
"And then Memphis' two best shooting guards, Derrick Rose, who had come alive with 12 minutes to go in the game and score a dozen points, and Chris Douglas-Roberts missed 4-5 from the line, giving Kansas a chance to tie the game with just a few seconds to go. And they did. With two seconds to go, Mario Chalmers hit an off-balanced three-pointer to tie the game. Memphis could not hit a subsequent half-court shot and the game went into Overtime.
Kansas immediately stole the ball -- after Memphis won the tip -- and scored. The momentum was all in Kansas' favor. Memphis "controlled chaos" style of basketball had lost its control. Kansas went on to win, 75-68."