Kansas Jayhawks Capture Their 4th Ever NCAA Tournament Championship


Jared Goodman

On Monday, April 4, the Kansas Jayhawks took on the North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA Championship in New Orleans. Kansas, a #1 seed, was the favorite to win this game by 4 points against the 8th seeded Tar Heels. The Jayhawks showed their dominance early by jumping out to an early 7-0 lead. While it looked like they may have run away with the game, North Carolina would not be deterred. They got over this initial hump and eventually the game was tied at 22. For the rest of the half, the Tar Heels dominated, closing the half on an 18-3 run to lead 40-25 at the half.


Heading into the locker room, UNC head coach Hubert Davis noted that it was a great first half, but acknowledged that they would have to do it for another 20 minutes. “Kansas is an unbelievable basketball team,” Davis noted. And this statement proved to be true. Within 6 minutes of play in the second half, North Carolina only led by 4 points. The 15 point halftime lead dissipated in the matter of minutes.


A hard fought game both ways remained close for the remainder of the game. With 1:41 left on the clock, UNC’s Brady Manek made a tip shot to take the lead by 1. Kansas took a timeout and drew up a play to David McCormack inside. He missed his first attempt, but got the rebound and overpowered his defender to hit a short jumper to take the lead. On the ensuing possession, North Carolina’s star, Bacot, drove the rim, but turned the ball over as he hit the floor in agony. He rolled his already injured ankle, which gave the ball back to the Jayhawks with under a minute to play. 


Bacot was forced to come out of the game, which led to a mismatch inside for David McCormack to seal the game with an inside jumper. No more scoring took place from this point on, and Kansas secured their 4th ever National Championship by completing the largest comeback in championship history. Their coach, Bill Self, picked up his 2nd title, with the first coming back in 2008. Ochai Agbaji was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament due to his excellent guard play throughout. In a season full of upsets, it turned out to be the preseason #3 and tournament #1 seed who prevailed.