Kentucky runs away with national title

April, 3, 2012
4/03/12
1:32
AM ET

Richard Mackson/US Presswire
Anthony Davis cuts down the nets after winning Most Outstanding Player and leading Kentucky to its eighth national championship with a game that no player has ever had in the NCAA Tournament.
The Kentucky Wildcats outscored the Kansas Jayhawks 20-9 in transition, the sixth straight game Kentucky outscored its opponent in transition and the fifth time in six tournament games it scored 20 transition points.

The win gives the Wildcats their eighth national championship, second only to UCLA (11), and their 38th win of the season, the most ever in Men’s Division I Basketball. (Memphis went 38-2 in 2008 but later had all its wins vacated).

No. 1 seeds improve to 7-2 against No. 2 seeds in the national title game since seeding began in 1979. Kentucky is the second top overall seed to win the title since the overall seeding began in 2004 (Florida – 2007).

Anthony Davis finished with 6 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 blocks, 3 steals. He’s the first player in NCAA Tournament history to reach those marks in a single game.

He’s the fourth freshman to be named Most Outstanding Player in the Men’s Basketball Championship, and first since Carmelo Anthony in 2003.

He scored just 24 points in the Final Four, the fewest by the Most Outstanding Player since Patrick Ewing scored 18 en route to Georgetown's national title in 1984. Only three other players have scored fewer points in the Final Four and won the award.

Davis blocked six shots and altered two more -- both of them on attempts by Jeff Withey -- tying Joakim Noah in 2006 for the most blocks in a national championship game. He also set the freshman record for blocks in a season with 186.

He blocked or altered 18.2 percent of Kentucky's opponents' 2-point field goal attempts during the tournament, including 15.7 percent against Kansas on Monday. Davis finished tied for the second-most blocks (29) ever in a single tournament and altered an additional 28 shots.

The Wildcats blocked 11 shots as a team, the most ever in the national championship game. The previous record was 10 by 2011 UConn and 2006 Florida.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the third national title game featuring a rematch between coaches who had previously met in the national title game, and the first in 50 years. John Calipari is the first of the three coaches to lose the first matchup and win the rematch.

Kansas shot a season-worst 33.3 percent on 2-point field goals, including just 11-for-25 on dunks and layups (44 percent). The Jayhawks shot 36.4 percent inside the arc earlier this season against the Wildcats, their second-worst 2-point field goal percentage in a game this season.

Thomas Robinson finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds, just the sixth player in the past 40 years -- and third from Kansas -- to put up a line like that in the title game. Nick Collison, Ed O’Bannon, Danny Manning, Akeem Olajuwon and Bill Walton are the others.

Withey had just 5 points, but added 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, passing Noah for the most blocks in a single NCAA Tournament (31).

Kansas lost in the national title game for the sixth time, tied with Duke for the most ever.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?