Down by as many as 13 points in the first half, the resilient Kansas Jayhawks battled all the way back to defeat Ohio State in a thrilling nightcap at the Final Four, 64-62. Kansas advances to play Kentucky in the national championship game on Monday, with the Jayhawks seeking their second crown in five years.
Monday night’s game will also be a head coaching rematch of the 2008 title game between John Calipari and Bill Self. Calipari was then the head coach at Memphis, and endured a heartbreaking, overtime loss to the Jayhawks when his Tigers team failed to hold a second-half lead, in part due to poor free throw shooting down the stretch.
Four Jayhawks scored in double-figures, led by a 19-point, 8-rebound effort by Thomas Robinson, with Elijah Johnson recording a double-double by scoring 13 points and hauling down 10 rebounds. Jared Sullinger also posted a double-double for Ohio State, with 13 points and 11 boards, while William Buford added 19 points and 7 rebounds. Like Kansas, Ohio State also put four players in double-figures, in a game which came down to the final seconds.
After trailing by 9 points at the half, the Jayhawks completely turned things around in the second half, slowly chipping away at the Buckeyes’ advantage before finally taking the lead for good with 2:48 left in regulation, and ended the game on a 15-7 run.
Kevin Kugler, Bill Raftery, and John Thompson called the action on the Westwood One Radio Network.