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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

This game had everything — a huge comeback, two guys playing on gimpy ankles, and even a midgame vomit. College basketball fans couldn’t have asked for a better National Championship Game.

Kansas came out slow, but they continued to dominate second halves as they have all NCAA Tournament, outscoring North Carolina 47-29 in the final 20 minutes.

The Jayhawks set records for the biggest halftime comeback (15) and overall comeback (16) in National Championship history. Christian Braun and the rest of the Jayhawks came out with an edge after the first half and took the physicality up a notch.

This was a familiar spot for North Carolina. They nearly blew a double-digit lead against Baylor in the Second Round but held on in overtime. They weren’t so lucky this time around.


Caleb Love’s 24th shot of the night was a missed three at the buzzer. The last few UNC possessions were chaotic, helter-skelter, and empty. When you live by the three, eventually you are going to die by the three. Carolina only converted on five of 23 three-point attempts, which was their worst showing in the NCAA Tournament by far.

Love wasn’t the only culprit in the loss for the Tar Heels. Love, R.J. Davis, and Armando Bacot combined to shoot 13-for-54 (24.1%) from the field.

UNC’s lack of depth stands out in the loss. Bacot and Love were both dealing with broken ankles and Puff Johnson collapsed and puked on the court at one point. Hubert Davis tightened his rotations the further the Tar Heels went in the NCAA Tournament. He only went seven deep in this game and Justin McKoy only played the final few seconds.

The Jayhawks took UNC’s best shot in the first half but refused to go away. Kansas showcased its poise and experience. Although it might seem like college basketball is dominated by one-and-done players, the bulk of Kansas’ rotation consisted of upperclassmen.

Five Jayhawks scored in double figures as Ochai Agbaji struggled to get going. Again, it was the poise and balance on Kansas that was the difference in this game.

Big 12 is on top for the second year in a row — Baylor won it all in 2021 — and Kansas wins its fourth National Championship. Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, indeed.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.