Kentucky holds off Kansas for eighth national title

Apr 3, 2012 |
UK's John Calipari finally won his first national championship.
UK's John Calipari finally won his first national championship.
The consensus going into the national championship seemed to be that Kentucky had the talent, but Kansas had the team. The Wildcats played both parts in New Orleans, dominating at both ends of the floor for most of the game and holding off the Jayhawks, 67-59, for their eighth national title and their first since 1998.

The win gave Kentucky coach John Calipari his first national title, and it came at the expense of the team and coach who denied him in the 2008 championship game with Memphis.

The winningest program in college basketball had little trouble picking up win No. 2,090. The Wildcats (38-2) raced to an early lead and led 41-27 at halftime despite getting no scoring from national player of the year Anthony Davis.

Davis made his impact elsewhere. In the first half alone he had nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks, surpassing the national freshman record of 182 blocks set by Marshall's Hassan Whiteside in 2010. He finished with six points, 16 rebounds, five assists and six blocks.

Doron Lamb scored 22 points to lead three Kentucky players in double digits.

Tyshawn Taylor scored 19 points in his final game for Kansas, and Thomas Robinson notched his national-best 27th double double with 18 points and 17 rebounds.

The rematch of Calipari vs. Self marked only the third coaching rematch in the national title game in history. … Kentucky has won 41 consecutive games when leading at halftime, including all 32 this season. … The 41-27 deficit was the biggest halftime deficit of the season for Kansas, which led at halftime only once in its six games in the tournament.
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