It was one of the most instant-classic Final Four weekends in the history of men’s college basketball, and it ended with a Kansas Jayhawks triumph over the UNC Tar Heels, 72-69 in a dramatic, down-to-the-wire slug fest that saw Rock Chalk, Jayhawk ring throughout New Orleans.
After going down by as many as 16 points in the first half, the Jayhawks got themselves together during the halftime intermission and came out guns blazing in the second half. Kansas took control of the game briefly, before North Carolina countered, taking the lead with just under two minutes remaining.
That’s when David McCormack took over. The Jayhawks got it to their big man on two consecutive possessions, and he hit clutch hook shots, the final one putting them up 72-69. UNC got a couple of looks late to tie the game, but couldn’t convert, and the confetti fell for Kansas.
Check out the first wave of Fanatics Kansas national championship gear, including the locker room hats and shirts worn on the court during the celebrations.
Kansas won its first national championship since 2008 by being the only No. 1 seed in the tournament that advanced to the Final Four. Bill Self’s squad seemed to cruise through much of the first rounds and regional finals, before outpacing Villanova on Saturday night in the semifinal at the Final Four.
After coming up short in their last trip to the Final Four in 2018, Kansas made no doubt of their superiority throughout one of the best March Madness tournaments we’ve seen in recent years. Their swarming defense and ball movement on offense led them to this moment, and they made the plays when it mattered most.
As for North Carolina, an unlikely run from the No. 8 seed to the championship game ends in heartbreaking fashion. Armando Bacot became the first player in men’s basketball history to score a double-double in all 6 tournament games, and the Tar Heels’ incredible victory over Duke in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last game will forever live in UNC basketball lore.
Check out more of the Kansas national champs products at Fanatics and get geared up for a championship parade throughout Lawrence, Kansas.