Final, KU wins 84-66
Collins missed his jumper coming out of the timeout, as did Ellington with his three. KU brought the ball down slowly at the three minute mark, leading to a drive by Rush and foul by Thompson, which sent Rush to the line. His first free throw fell short, but he hit the second, putting KU up 74-61. The Tar Heels turned the ball over on their offensive possession, leading to a reverse layup by Rush on the other end to contribute to a 9-0 run by the Jayhawks. UNC missed a long three from the elbow, then fouled Collins to send him to the line. Collins got them both to go down, then pulled down a defensive rebound on the other end. Rush added to KU's run with a drive on the offensive end.
Ty Lawson was fouled and went to the line. After Lawson hit the first, Jackson subbed back in for Arthur and Lawson hit the second. KU worked clock, then Jackson was fouled down low with 1:14 to go and KU up 80-63. Jackson hit both free throws, pulling his point total to 12 on the night. KU stripped Hansbrough down low on the defensive end and KU worked more clock on the other end as the fans started the Rock Chalk Chant. Robinson hit a lay-in, which was followed by a UNC three on the other end, however Kansas still lead 84-66 with 20 seconds to go. Coach self subbed in some bench players after a quick timeout, and Kansas ran the clock until the final buzzer, giving the Jayhawks the victory 84-66.
So in the end, a 25-2 run which, pushed KU ahead 40-12 late in the first half, was enough. Despite a second half North Carolina rally Saturday night in San Antonio, the Jayhawks downed former coach Roy Williams and the Tar Heels 84-66. KU will meet Memphis Monday night for the 2008 NCAA national championship.
3:40 second half, KU leads 73-61
After hitting both free throws, Aldrich was replaced by Arthur. Hansbrough took it up strong but was called for the push-off for his third foul. KU drained the shot clock to eight seconds before Collins alley-ooped to Sasha to take the lead to nine. UNC pushed the ball back down and Green had a put-back after a Tar Heel miss. Kaun was KU's the go-to guy again, with a lay in after KU ate up some clock. Collins picked up his third foul on a reach in on Thompson, who hit both free throws.
Rush missed a three on the wing, leading to Hansbrough driving from the side of the lane. Collins hit a big three on the other end, taking the lead to eight.
Ellington then hit a circus shot to put the score at 67-61. Rush answered with a drive of his own at the five minute mark. After a KU stop, Rush lobbed to Jackson for a layup. Hansbrough was called for the travel and the ball went to KU, who held a 6-0 run going in to the last TV timeout and was up 73-61 with 3:40 left in the game.
7:53 second half, KU leads 58-53
Arthur traveled on the first play coming out of the timeout, which led to an easy backdoor play by Ellington, pulling UNC within four, 54-50. Jackson missed a jumper, but Rush followed with a short put-back. Lawson lost control going in the lane on the other end and Jackson posted up for a layup for the Jayhawks on offense. Lawson missed again and Arthur cleared. After Chalmers missed a three long, Ellington did not. His three made the score 58-53 with just under nine minutes left in the game.
Chalmers picked up his third foul at the 8:25 mark. Danny Green then missed a three from the wing and the ball fell out of bounds, going to Kansas. KU fed to Sasha on the other end and missed but was followed by Aldrich. He was fouled and goes to the line following the TV timeout.
11:39 second half, KU leads 54-48
Green had his shot rattle out coming out of the timeout. Hansbrough stole Chalmers' telegraphed pass, leading to a jumper from Green and pulling North Carolina to within 12. UNC forced a tie-up, with the arrow going to them. UNC hit another two-point shot. Rush missed another three, as did Ellington on the other end. Robinson kicked to rush, who missed again, leading to a North Carolina rebound. Collins got the steal up top on the UNC fast break, but was called for a charge with 13:22 to go.
Green airballed from the corner and Robinson missed a three on the other end. UNC pushed the ball down the court before Green was called for his second foul, a charge. Ellington stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast for a short jumper in the lane to pull the Tar Heels to within eight and forcing KU to call a timeout, 45-46 with 12:16 to go.
Out of the timeout, Ellington got the steal resulting in a foul on Hansbrough, sending him to the line after making a layup down low for a 12-0 run by the Tar Heels. He missed the free throw and UNC was called for a reach in at the top of the key on KU's offensive end, sending the game to its second TV timeout of the second half.
15:54 second half, KU leads 54-40
KU came out of the half aggressive with a backdoor pass to Chalmers, who put it in easily. Kansas stopped Hansbrough down low and took it slow at the top of the key at the other end. Arthur missed a jumper from the wing, but KU came back with tough defense to draw an over-and-back violation against UNC. Ellington stole it from KU for an easy lay in, but Jackson answered with a layup. The teams traded buckets again before Lawson drove for a lay up. Chalmers aired a three but Rush was there to follow with yet another easy lay in. UNC pushed it up the floor and fed to Hansbrough, who was fouled on a layup and got the free throw as well.
On the other end, Chalmers drove from the wing but missed. KU brought down the offensive board and kicked to Rush, who was called for a blocking foul with 17:00 to go. Hansbrough was called for a foul immediately off of the inbounds for his second of the game, with KU up 52-36. Chalmers drove on Thompson for another easy bucket. Jackson picked up his third foul on the defensive end, sending Thompson to the line. He then went one for one, putting UNC at 9-10 at the stripe on the day. Rush missed a wide-open three from the corner.
Kaun picked up his third foul on defense, triggering the first TV timeout of the second half, with KU up 54-40 and 15:54 to go.
Halftime, KU leads 44-27
Out of the timeout, Ellington missed a jumper. KU took their time on offense but Arthur missed a short shot from the lane. UNC's Thomas airballed from the middle of the lane, but Robinson missed a quick three from the wing. Green answered with a three for ten unanswered from North Carolina.
Chalmers had a fast break for an easy dunk, then Robinson got a quick steal from the North Carolina indbound. Kansas drained clock then had a missed layup from Chalmers. The teams traded possessions before Danny Green drained another three, making the score 42-25 with a minute left. Green got a steal and a fast break layup before Collins drove to the other end and drew a charge on the wing from Hansbrough. KU inbounded to Collins with 5 seconds left in the half, who drove the lane and put in the lay-in as the halftime buzzer sounded.
3:31, first half, KU leads 40-19
Brandon Rush took Kansas' run to 10 points coming out of the second TV timeout. On the other end, Jackson took a charge to send the ball back to KU.
Rush hit a big three pointer in the corner on Kansas' following possession. North Carolina came back and missed a response-three. Chalmers hit another three pointer at the top of the key to give KU 16 unanswered points and to put the Jayhawks up 31-10 with 10 minutes to go. After the KU defense held UNC strong again, Aldrich ripped down an offensive rebound from Hansbrough. A foul was called on Hansbrough and Aldrich went one-for-one from the line after a UNC lane violation on the second shot.
UNC fed Hansbrough down low on the other end. After getting his own rebound, he was fouled after going back up and hit both free throws.
Kansas came back with a missed three from Robinson on the wing. Aldrich came away with the rebound and kicked out to Collins, who drove the lane and was called for a charge.
UNC's Graves took another shot from outside the lane but missed.
Rush had a put-back from Arthur's miss.
North Carolina couldn't convert again and Rush responded with a three from deep on the far wing. Carolina called a timeout from there. Out of the timeout, UNC missed again and the Jayhawks scored down low on the other end. Aldrich got a steal on the weakside, but Rush was called for a charge, with KU on top 40+12 with 6 mins left.
Ginyard missed from the top of the key, giving UNC an 8-minute drought. Aldrich's shot on the other end got away from him and went out of bounds. UNC and KU switched possessions twice, then Lawson got his chance to end the drought after drawing a blocking foul and hitting two free throws.
North Carolina came away with a defensive stop, then pushed it up the court and Ellington got a layup and a foul for UNC's first field goal in nine minutes. He hit the free throw.
Kansas spread out their offense but Collins missed a layup with four minutes to go to stay on top 40-17.
Hansbrough followed a UNC miss with a dunk, then drew his third charge of the game, this time against Rush, the other end. Kansas led at the last TV timeout of the half, 40-19 with 3:31.
15:43, first half, KU leads 11-6
Mario Chalmers controlled the opening tip for KU, and immediately the ball went to Darrell Arthur, who hit a turnaround jumper over Tyler Hansbrough for the game's first points. Hansbrough then returned the favor with a turnaround deuce on Arthur, tying it up, 2-2.
Darnell Jackson came back down to take a hi-lo feed from Arthur and slipped it in off the glass. Jackson then cut short an entry pass to Jackson. Russell Robinson cashed a three on the other end, putting KU up 7-2 nearly two minutes in.
Ty Lawson then had a shot altered, but Brandon Rush aired an attempt on the other end. After the miss, Wayne Ellington swished a three for Carolina, making it 7-5.
Arthur then scored again on a pass from Jackson, taking down the lob feed and going back up for two simple points off the glass. Tyler Hansbrough then scored yet again, keeping Carolina within two points.
Arthur then missed a baseline jumper for KU, giving UNC a chance to tie it up or take the lead. After a near-steal from Russell Robinson, Ty Lawson missed in traffic. Mario Chalmers was then fouled going up on the other end after a dish from Brandon Rush.
Chalmers missed both free throws, but Darrell Arthur swatted Hansbrough at the other end. Brandon Rush then took the pass ahead in transition for a skying layup. The problems were compounded when Sherron Collins and Mario Chalmers forced Danny Green into a turnover out of bounds.
Sasha Kaun missed a shot, but a ball off his foot on the other end sent the game to a full break at 15:43, KU ahead 11-6.
SAN ANTONIO - All the Roy Williams hype, Tyler Hansbrough defense hype, fast-paced game hype, throw it all out the window, because tip time has finally arrived for Kansas University and North Carolina. The two schools tangle tonight in the Alamodome with a trip to Monday's national championship game on the line.
The winner will face Memphis, who ousted UCLA 78-63 in the night's first semi.
Besides the storyline of Roy Williams coaching against KU for the first time since his 2003 departure for his alma mater, how KU plans on stopping junior big man Tyler Hansbrough remains the most popular topic of discussion.
Arguably the nation's top college basketball player, Hansbrough is averaging 22.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. His most valuable contribution, though, isn't measured by numbers. His 40-minute intensity has drawn him the nickname 'Psycho-T', meaning the Jayhawk big men will have to match it to have a chance.
The Tar Heels play fast, averaging 89.2 points per game. KU has said all week it wants to run with them, and to do so, KU will need an answer for sophomore point guard Ty Lawson, averaging 12.8 points per game. He has 163 assists in 31 games played this season to just 68 turnovers.
Tip-off is set for 7:47 p.m. KU will be wearing its road blue uniforms, Carolina in its home whites.