The University of Kentucky Wildcats won the eighth men’s basketball championship in school history last night in New Orleans with a 67-59 victory over the Kansas Jayhawks. The game was a heavyweight match up featuring the top two programs in terms of wins in NCAA history, but the game was an obvious mismatch early as the Wildcats built a lead of as much as 16 points in both halves. Kansas made a late run to cut the lead to five with 1:37 to play but the Wildcats played great defense over the final minute while making 5-of-6 free throws to preserve the win.
Doron Lamb led all scorers with 22 points, but the player of the game and the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player was Anthony Davis. While Davis scored just 6 points, Davis dominated both ends of the court with 16 rebounds, 6 blocks, 5 assists, and 3 steals while holding Kansas 7-footer Jeff Withey to just 5 points on 2-of-8 shooting.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 11 points after suffering what looked to be a shoulder injury early in the game on a hard foul while at the same time making Jayhawk Tyshawn Taylor shoot just 8-of-17 from the field for a quiet 19 points. Terrence Jones added 9 points and 7 rebounds while senior Darius Miller had 5 points and 6 rebounds.
As a team, Kentucky held the Jayhawks to just 35.5% shooting while dominating the glass in the first half. UK set a record for most blocks as a team in a Final Four game with 11, passing last year’s UCONN team. In addition, Kentucky finished with a 38-2 record, tying Memphis for the most wins in a season but setting a record for the most wins from the national champions.
Kentucky has now won 8 national championships in four different decades and under five different coaches. Since UCLA won their 11th title, UK has won three, and the Wildcats should be ranked top five nationally again next year.
Coach John Calipari won his first championship after four Final Four appearances with three different schools.go back