What a great NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Kansas came from nine down in the closing minutes to force overtime and eventually beat Memphis 75-68.
It was the free throw shooting that finally did the Tigers in. The Tigers hit about 60% of their free throws during the regular season, but managed to increase that to around 70% in the first five tournament games. Unfortunately for the Tigers, when they needed to make free throws the most, they failed. They missed four of their final five attempts in regulation, which opened the door for the Jayhawks comeback. Memphis finished 12 for 19 at the free throw line (63.2%).
Mario Chalmers forced overtime with a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left. Chalmers finished with 18 and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament.
The win clinched the third overall championship for the Jayhawks and first since 1988.
Other than an earlier start time, what more could you have wanted in a championship game. The game had everything. It was fast paced, end to end action.
Certainly a foul by Memphis late in regulation would have been a good call. According to the Memphis camp, the order was given in the huddle by coach John Calipari, but it didn't get carried out. That could have won it for Memphis in regulation, inspite of the free throw struggles.
But in the end, college basketball fans were treated to a great title game. It's why NCAA March Madness is what it is, the greatest championship series out there.