Archive for Tuesday, April 8, 2008

KU works overtime for title

Defense, determination and timely plays take Jayhawks to the top

April 8, 2008


2008 NCAA Tournament

2008 NCAA Tournament

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NCAA Championship Game

— The last strand of net was reserved for head coach Bill Self, who ascended up the ladder and cleanly snipped it off the rim.

Cheers engulfed the Alamodome. A national title officially was christened.

Kansas University's basketball team won the 2008 NCAA championship, topping Memphis, 75-68 in overtime, in a thrilling title game for the ages Monday.

The Jayhawks (37-3) are champions for the first time since 1988, surviving the 65-team field largely because of defense, determination and timely playmaking.

Kansas outscored Memphis, 12-5, in the overtime, but it was the clutch shooting of Mario Chalmers that instantly became part of Jayhawk lore. Chalmers drilled a game-tying three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation, tying the score at 63 and giving Kansas five more minutes to take back the game.

"It'll probably be the biggest shot ever made in Kansas history," Self said.

Chalmers had 18 points and was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. Darrell Arthur led Kansas with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Self was mobbed by well-wishers on the court when the game ended. After struggling to make the Final Four for years, KU's fifth-year head coach got there and came out with two victories.

It was even more rewarding considering Kansas was down nine points with 2:12 to play and improbably came back to win it.

Afterward, Self was beaming - as one might expect from a championship coach.

"It's one thing to win, it's another to win the way we won," Self said. "There's no quit in these guys."


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