The final game of the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s basketball Tournament delivered with an intense and hard-fought contest during Monday’s championship game. The Kansas Jayhawks etched their names into the record books with a tense 72-69 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels, and we’re here to break down the highlights and lowlights of a title game that will be remembered for quite some time.
Nitrobetting is ready to dish out some timely assists to our bettors all throughout the 2022 March Madness season. This time, let’s explore three reasons why the Kansas Jayhawks won the 2022 March Madness national title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
3 Takeaways from the 2022 March Madness Championship Game
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A Tale of Two Halves
After being all tied up at 22 points apiece early on, the North Carolina Tar Heels finished the first half strong and took a commanding 15-point lead at halftime. However, the Kansas Jayhawks knew there was another half of basketball yet to play, and they went on to rally from that huge deficit to turn the contest into a barnburner down to the last five minutes.
What came after that game-altering scoring run for Kansas was some postseason college basketball at its finest. With Kansas up three and having just gotten possession of the ball with less than five seconds remaining, an errant inbound pass led to one last Hail Mary attempt for the Tar Heels to tie the game with a three-pointer. That shot didn’t fall through, and the Jayhawks escaped with a title-winning effort for the ages.
Kansas: Collegiate Comeback Kings
Kansas’ 15-point halftime comeback set a new record for the largest championship game comeback in the history of the NCAA Tournament, making head coach Bill Self’s second-career national title win for the Lawrence faithful all the more special.
Self got his boys composed in the second half of the game and got key contributions from all of his brightest stars. Four Jayhawks players finished with double-digit scoring performances, with David McCormack (15 points, 10 rebounds) making two huge buckets in the final minutes of the contest. Christian Braun also finished with a stellar double-double line of 12 points and 12 boards, while the MVP of the Final Four, Ochai Agbaji, had 12 points in the finale.
Huffing and Puffing Heels Come Up Short
A strong start wasn’t enough for the Tar Heels to come out on top of the Big Dance. Caleb Love, who was the hero for UNC in the win over Duke this past weekend, went just 5-of-24 from the field and 1-of-8 from beyond the arc for 13 points.
Nevertheless, North Carolina was fierce on the boards after out-rebounding Kansas, 55-36. Those rebounds led to more second-chance points, which the team also had the advantage over the Jayhawks, 24-8. The Tar Heels even got a boost off the bench from Puff Johnson, who pitched in with 11 points after scoring just six points through the first five games of the tournament.
Our hats also go off to UNC’s star big man Armando Bacot, who finished with a massive double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds against a stout Kansas defense. Bacot, who turned his ankle late in the Final Four clash against Duke, reaggravated that same injury after he slipped on a drive to the hoop with Kansas up by a point with under a minute left. Bacot’s untimely fall ended up being the Tar Heels’ undoing at the worst possible moment.
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