SAN ANTONIO - Mario Chalmers gave his team the hope when it seemed to be fading, and after his last-gasp three-pointer fell late in regulation, his teammates helped do the rest in overtime, as KU secured its third NCAA national title in school history Monday night in San Antonio with a 75-68 win over Memphis.
Chalmers finished with 18 points, second only to Darrell Arthur who led all Jayhawks with 20, and KU overcame a late second-half deficit which at one point was as large as nine.
In overtime, KU opened up on a 6-0 run, including an Arthur slam on a lobbed feed from Chalmers, and Memphis could never respond. Memphis had chances at the free throw line to lock it up, but Chris Douglas-Roberts missed three in a row late in regulation, and Derrick Rose splitting a pair with just under 11 seconds to play set the stage for Chalmers.
Chalmers came off a screen and hit the three, which will go down in KU lore, with :02.1 to play.
Brandon Rush also scored 12 points, while Sherron Collins added 11. Memphis' Douglas-Roberts led all scorers with 22. Derrick Rose - who at one point scored 10 straight for Memphis in the second half - finished with 18.
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Final, KU wins, 75-68
SAN ANTONIO - Chris Douglas-Roberts was fouled by Brandon Rush out of the timeout, and in the bonus hit both attempts at the stripe to pull Memphis back to within four at 69-65 with the Tigers' first points in overtime.
Memphis turned it up defensively, and a Mario Chalmers' shot went out of bounds off the rim at the end of the shot clock, giving the Tigers a window. Derrick Rose couldn't hit a three up top, but Memphis controlled the offensive glass. Douglas-Roberts then missed a three in the corner, and in the open floor, Brandon Rush followed his own miss with two underneath, giving him 12 points.
Douglas-Roberts then hit a three to make it a three-point game with :56.8 to play, forcing Memphis into another timeout.
Mario Chalmers was fouled after the quick break, and in the bonus stepped to the line, hitting both to give him 18 points on the night. The charities put KU up 73-68.
Douglas-Roberts then missed a swooping layup. The Jayhawks were awarded the ball after it was tied up on the floor in a scramble under the bucket. Sherron Collins fell, though, after taking the inbounds pass and gave it back to Memphis with :28.3 to play.
Douglas-Roberts missed another three after that, and Sherron Collins gathered the board. Collins hit both free throws, and that would be it, securing KU's fourth national championship in school history, 75-68.
2:29, overtime, KU leads 69-63
SAN ANTONIO - Derrick Rose controlled the overtime tip, and after a ball slipped from Chris Douglas-Roberts' grip into Sherron Collins' hands, Brandon Rush scored two in transition to put KU ahead 65-63 and force Memphis into a timeout.
Out of the break, Memphis tried to go inside, but couldn't produce. On the other end, KU opened up a two-score lead, with Mario Chalmers feeding Darrell Arthur for a lob, putting the sophomore forward's point total at 20. Antonio Anderson then missed a three for Memphis and Darnell Jackson took down a huge rebound. Jackson scored on the other end to make it a six-point game off a dish from Darnell Jackson.
Final, game tied 62-62
SAN ANTONIO - Chris Douglas-Roberts was partially blocked while driving against a dwindling shot clock, but Sherron Collins, who grabbed the ball off the deflection, was blocked in traffic at the other end while trying to tie it up.
Douglas-Roberts then wound up at the foul line again. He missed both, keeping him cold at the line late, but Robert Dozier got his third key offensive rebound of the second half and got the ball to Derrick Rose. The freshman guard was then fouled up top with 10.8 seconds left, sending him to the line in the double-bonus after a timeout.
Rose missed the first and made the second, giving KU a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer, which Mario Chalmers hit with :02.1 to go. It sent the game to overtime, with Derrick Rose struggling on the on the sideline now suffering from apparent right leg cramps.
:44.0, second half, Memphis leads 62-60
SAN ANTONIO - KU stole the ball off the inbounds pass to follow the timeout, and Sherron Collins wound up with the ball after a couple quick passes, then canned a three from the right corner to pull KU to within four points.
Chris Douglas-Roberts was quickly fouled, going to the line in the bonus. He hit both tries to make it a six-point game at the 1:38 mark.
Joey Dorsey then fouled out on the other end with 1:23 to play, called for bumping Mario Chalmers as he cut down the left side of the arc. The infraction put Chalmers at the line in the bonus for a one-and-one. Chalmers calmly hit both to make it again a four-point game. Douglas-Roberts was again fouled in the Memphis backcourt. Chalmers' third foul put CD-R at the stripe for a one-and-one. He missed the first, and Darrell Arthur took down the board.
Arthur then spun and rolled in two off the iron to pull KU back to within two just inside the one-minute mark.
Antonio Anderson called a timeout with 44 seconds to go, 19 on the shot clock.
1:54, second half, Memphis leads 60-53
SAN ANTONIO - Darrell Arthur was fouled out of the timeout and hit a pair of free thorws to slice the lead down to five points for Memphis with just over three minutes to play.
Derrick Rose missed a three from the left wing, but yet again, Robert Dozier was there for the offensive carom. Dozier ultimately fed Shawn Taggart inside for two off the glass, and KU couldn't respond inside, with Taggart gathering the board. KU fouled Dozier at the other end - one of the Tigers' poorer foul shooters - and the junior forward hit both tries, making it a nine-point game with just over two minutes to play.
Darrell Arthur answered with a two and Bill Self called a timeout, down by seven points with 1:54 to play.
3:49, second half, Memphis leads 56-49
SAN ANTONIO - KU turned it over out of the timeout, and Derrick Rose, continuing to heat up, pulled up in the lane for a short one-handed jumper, giving him 12 points (nine in the second half so far) and Memphis a four-point lead.
Sherron Collins missed a guarded three in response, and Darrell Arthur knocked the ball out of bounds going up for the offensive board. Rose was forced into an awkward look at the other end and couldn't connect, giving KU a chance to cut back in. Chris Douglas-Roberts was then called for his third foul of the game, sending him to the bench for a quick blow.
KU again turned it over, and Rose then missed a three from up top, but after the shot missed and shot to the right. Robert Dozier tracked it down, fed Rose, and the freshman guard hit an awkward and-one inside. The accompanying free throw put Memphis up by seven points.
Sherron Collins was able to answer back with two points - his third bucket of the game - to end the 10-0 Memphis run.
Derrick Rose continued to take over the game, hitting a fall-away two off the glass against an expiring shot clock to extend the lead back to seven points going into the game's final TV break, Tigers up 57-49.
8:08, second half, Memphis leads 49-47
SAN ANTONIO - Mario Chalmers hit a step-back jumper out of the timeout to follow a ball going out of bounds off of a diving Chris Douglas-Roberts. Derrick Rose responded quickly with two more muscled points inside against the KU big men.
Joey Dorsey, back in the game with three fouls, then went up high to tear a defensive rebound away from Sasha Kaun off a Sherron Collins three-point miss. Brandon Rush took the ball away on the other end, though, after Kaun was called for his first foul of the game. He swooped to the bucket in transition and scored two off the glass, extending KU's lead to three points.
Memphis got a chance for the tie at the other end, though, with Robert Dozier scoring a bucket over Kaun while drawing contact. The free throw missed, though, keeping KU ahead by one.
Kaun went to work on Shawn Taggart on the other end and missed an attempt off the glass, and Dozier grabbed the board. Derrick Rose then put Memphis up by two on the other end with his first three-pointer of the game coming from straight away, bringing the game to a full timeout, called by John Calipari.
11:35, second half, KU leads 43-42
SAN ANTONIO - Memphis couldn't score out of the timeout despite using up much of the shot clock. KU turned it right back over, but the Jayhawks were able to avoid giving up an easy two in transition. Darrell Arthur then had two tip-in chances for Kansas, but Shawn Taggart ultimately pulled down the ball. Antonio Anderson was then fouled in transition. He missed both free throw tries, calling out an old demon for the Tigers, an average-at-best free-throw shooting team in the regular season.
Darnell Jackson then spun home a baseline two for KU to extend the lead to three points at 41-38, but Chris Douglas-Roberts answered right back with his first points of the half. Jackson came right back with two tough points inside off the high glass, giving him six for the night.
Derrick Rose then broke the scoreless stretch for the Tigers with two points up high in transition. Memphis then kept the ball off a turnover after a loose ball went out of bounds off a Jayhawk foot.
15:15, second half, KU leads 39-38
SAN ANTONIO - Memphis took the ball to start the second half, and Derrick Rose fed Robert Dozier inside for an easy two-handed dunk. KU quickly handed it back via turnover. Antonio Anderson then hit his second three-pointer of the game from the left wing to tie it up, 33-33.
Mario Chalmers then went to the hole, bouncing off the right wing on the other end, and drew the second foul of the game on Antonio Anderson to get himself to the line for the first time. Chalmers calmy cashed both attempts, giving KU back a two-point edge.
Anderson took a give-and-go feed from Joey Dorsey up high for two off the glass while getting fouled by Darnell Jackson. Anderson hit his free throw, giving Memphis the lead again at 36-35.
Darrell Arthur swung the pendulum back in KU's favor, taking a dish from Darnell Jackson inside up in reverse fashion for his sixth bucket of the game, putting KU ahead by one. Memphis couldn't respond with tried by both Robert Dozier (partially blocked) and Chris Douglas-Roberts. Memphis then missed three attempts of its own, but Chalmers' three in transition was long off the glass. Joey Dorsey dunked home two at the other end for another one-point Memphis lead.
Joey Dorsey then was called for his third foul of the game on the defensive end, and after the brief break in the action, Russell Robinson soared to the glass and laid in a bucket for his first points of the game, KU again up by a point, 39-38.
Derrick Rose put up a guarded two in transition in heavy traffic. The miss was off the back iron, but KU turned it back over just before the first break of the second half, Jayhawks still ahead by one.
Halftime, KU leads 33-28
SAN ANTONIO - Memphis decided to slow things down a bit out of a timeout late in the first half, and after Antonio Anderson missed a three at the end of the shot clock, Chris Douglas-Roberts corralled a tapped-out offensive board. Memphis, however, lost the ball out of bounds with just a tenth of a second left before the half, keeping KU up by five, 33-28, at the half.
Darrell Arthur led KU in the first half with 10 points, not picking up his second foul until late. Mario Chalmers had seven points to go with a couple of key steals, while Brandon Rush tallied six, including a late and-one bucket.
Chris Douglas-Roberts lead Memphis through one half with 13 points, while freshman sensation Derrick Rose was held to just three coming off a 25-point showing Saturday against UCLA. For Memphis, its three key big men - Joey Dorsey, Robert Dozier and Shawn Taggart - each have two fouls.
1:02, first half, KU leads 33-28
SAN ANTONIO - Sherron Collins and Brandon Rush both missed looks out of the timeout before Derrick Rose collected a defensive board.
Collins then ran down a defensive board off a Chris Douglas-Roberts missed three-pointer on the right wing. Brandon Rush then drove and nailed a runner down the middle of the land, drawing the second foul of the game on Joey Dorsey and sending Memphis' top post presence to the bench. Rush hit the charity to put KU ahead 31-28 with 2:31 to go in the first half.
Mario Chalmers then picked off a pass intended for Antonio Anderson out of a double-team. He drove at the other end but missed inside. Sasha Kaun clamped down on an offensive board, and after Chalmers missed a three from the right wing, Darrell Arthur helped give KU another opportunity to extend its lead, forcing a ball out of bounds off a Memphis leg. Arthur hit a baby hook to again put KU up by five, giving him a team-high 10 points.
Memphis then turned it over into Sasha Kaun's hands, but Mario Chalmers missed a runner down the middle. Arthur was called for his second foul going up for the offensive carom.
3:50, first half, game tied 28-28
SAN ANTONIO - Memphis snatched the lead right back out of the timeout, first with CD-R scoring two up close. Then, after Joey Dorsey elevated to wipe a Sasha Kaun look inside, Douglas-Roberts cashed his first three of the game at the other end, putting Memphis ahead by two.
Sherron Collins answered with a floater, and then after a Memphis miss, Sasha Kaun got a second-chance look inside and finished with a smooth one-handed dunk, putting KU up 28-26.
Douglas-Roberts came right back with another two from outside, this time just inside the arc in front of Brandon Rush, giving him a game-high 11 points.
A ball off the hands of Joey Dorsey sent the game to the final full break of the half at 3:50, game tied 28-28.
7:25, first half, KU leads 24-21
SAN ANTONIO - Shawn Taggart missed a two out of the timeout for Memphis, and Brnadon Rush quickly gave KU the lead at 15-13 with a slicing two up at the rack. He had also just grabbed another high defensive board on the other end.
Mario Chalmers extended it to a five-point lead with the game's first three-pointer following another failed Memphis offensive possession. Joey Dorse was then called for his first foul of the game inside against Darnell Jackson, whistled for going over the back.
Dorsey got some retribution by picking off a pass up top intended for Cole Aldrich, swooping to the other end for an emphatic two-hadned slam dunk. The two teams then swapped turnovers, with Mario Chalmers finishing the scramble with a drop-in up at the rim for two, keeping KU ahead by five at 20-15.
Doneal Mack then missed his first shot of the game - a three from up top in front of Brandon Rush - and Darrell Arthur finished off an alley oop lob from Rush at the other end, giving KU its biggest lead yet at seven points. Antonio Anderson quickly answered with a three. Mario Chalmers came back within an instant to follow his own miss at the other end.
Robert Dozier kept the slugfest going with a three in the left corner. Arthur was then called for a walk, sending the game into another break with KU still ahead by three, 24-21.
11:33, first half, game tied 13-13
SAN ANTONIO - Sherron Collins threw an alley-oop lob high for Sasha Kaun right out of the break, with the senior skying for the dunk, pulling KU to within a bucket at 9-7. Derrick Rose tried a turnaround jumper over Sherron Collins in response but was off. Darrell Arthur tied the game at nine points apiece on the other end with a turanround shot of his own, catching nothing but net for his third bucket.
Memphis then turned it back over, but Arthur missed a long-range two from the left wing. Chris Douglas-Roberts was then able to draw contact on Arthur while driving the left side of the lane. It got the Tigers' leading scorer to the line, where he hit both attemtps for his third and fourth points of the night.
Sherron Collins quickly answered with a slippery two while driving the left baseline, forcing two off the glass in between a pair of defenders. CD-R hit right back with a one-handed floater on the right side.
Mario Chalmers then tried to hit KU's first three but was just off. Shawn Taggart fouled Darnell Jackson on the other end going up for a rebound, giving KU another chance to tie.
Taggart was then called for his second foul on the defensive end away from the ball. Another Memphis foul inside came seconds later, with Robert Dozier earning his second whistle against a Darnell Jackson shot.
Jackson hit both charities, tying the game at 13-13 just outside of the 12-minute mark. Dozier then missed a spinning two on the other end for the Tigers, giving KU a shot at the lead. Sasha Kaun was called for a walk off a Sherron Collins feed before the game went to its second full break.
15:36, first half, Memphis leads 9-5
SAN ANTONIO - Joey Dorsey scored inside for Memphis after Derrick Rose controlled the game's opening tip. Dorsey, who had 15 rebounds against UCLA Saturday, didn't score a point in the semifinal.
Darrell Arthur missed short off the iron on a turnaround jumper inside for KU, but Mario Chalmers picked the ball clean from behind away from Antonio Anderson on the other end. In transition, Brandon Rush was fouled by Antonio Anderson going up for a dunk. He hit one of two for KU's first score of the game.
Anderson missed a three for Memphis on the other end, but Douglas-Roberts scored a tough two in transition after an errant pass from Chalmers bounced off the reff and went back with KU.
Memphis couldn't capitalize after KU turned it over again, and Darrell Arthur then slammed home a deuce inside to pull KU to again within one at 4-3.
Robert Dozier extended Memphis' lead back to three points with two from the free throw line, and Mario Chalmers was then called for a foul against Derrick Rose off a Darnell Jackson miss from 18 feet away. Rose then missed a three from the left wing, but KU turned it over again after the ball was knocked free from Rush's grip, bringing Sherron Collins and Sasha Kaun into the game.
Rose then hit an and-one jumper on the baseline while drawing contact from Russell Robinson for his first points. His free throw made it 9-3, Memphis out in front.
Brandon Rush then tipped in a Darrell Arthur miss after Rush had a three miss tipped from the corner. A ball off Joey Dorsey's hands gave the ball back to KU after a full timeout, Memphis up 9-5.
SAN ANTONIO - For the first time since 2003, Kansas University is back at the doorstep of the NCAA Division I men's basketball National Championship.
And just like the last time, a young team led by a star freshman stands in the way of the Jayhawks' first title since 1988.
The final game of the 2007-08 college basketball season tonight features two No. 1 seeds - KU and Memphis - who will get going at 8:20 p.m. in San Antonio. Memphis enters the game on the heels of a blowout victory against UCLA Saturday night, while KU capped the night of semifinals with an 84-66 triumph over former coach Roy Williams and North Carolina.
While KU's balance helped do the trick Saturday and will be relied upon again tonight, Memphis leans on star power in the form of a loaded backcourt.
The Tigers are led by freshman point guard Derrick Rose and 6-foot-7 junior guard/swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts. The duo combined for 53 of Memphis' 78 points on Saturday, including a combined 20-of-23 effort from the free throw line. Free throws have been the issue for Memphis this season, a team as good as any in the country when the charities are falling, but as vulnerable as any when they're not.
Plenty of eyes will also be on the frontcourt showdown between two loaded groups. KU got an unexpectedly productive 17 minutes from freshman Cole Aldrich Saturday in the face of foul trouble, as he finished with eight points, seven assists and four blocks. Memphis' rock inside is senior Joey Dorsey, who was scoreless against UCLA, but pulled down 15 rebounds and altered several shots.
Check back here for updates at each TV timeout during tonight's game.