The NCAA Title That Almost Wasn't

What they're saying about Kansas' 75-68 win over Memphis in Monday's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournmament championship game ...

My Kingdom For A Free Throw. As a Syracuse alumnus, I feel the pain of Chris Douglas-Roberts, the star Memphis guard who missed three crucial free throws in the final moments of last night's NCAA Championship game. In the 1987 title game, Derrick Coleman blew a freebie just before Keith Smart hit a last-second jumper to give Indiana a one-point victory over my Orange. It's probably no consolation to Douglas-Roberts, but 21 years later everyone remembers Smart's floating baseline jumper; nobody remembers Coleman's brick from the line. This year, Mario Chalmers canned the memorable shot, a three-pointer from the top of the key to force overtime. Given five extra minutes, Kansas went on to win the championship, 75-68, denying the nation a chance to watch Buddha-like Memphis reserve Pierre Niles celebrate under the falling confetti. [Slate]

SbB @ Final Four; The Greates KU Jayhawk Of All. As we watched the video board play "One Shining Moment" with all the relieved (not excited) Kansas fans, we gazed up at a rather tall gent wrapped in denim, boots and a ten gallon hat. Why, who could it be? Ostertag! [SportsbyBrooks]


Brandon Rush Leaving On A High Note. Well now that his team has peaked by winning the title, Brandon Rush will leave for the NBA draft according to Yahoo! Sports' Jason King. This isn't much of a surprise considering the fact that it's the third time he's declared for the draft. .. That's where Bob Knight's thoughts on the subject comes in, and he's completely right. The one-and-done rule is eliminating the integrity in collegiate athletics and making a mockery of the concept of student athletes. [Larry Brown Sports]

Billy Packer And Dick Cheney: Separated At Birth?. "Packer is the Dick Cheney of sports announcing. The only thing that makes him remotely palatable is the serial niceness of Jim Nantz." Cheney! As outlandish as the comment is, there is some resemblance, right? [Lion In Oil]

Digger Phelps REALLY Thinks Memphis Should Have Fouled. Caught this clip right before the OSM last night and it cracked me up. Digger Phelps is trying to explain how Memphis fouling at the end of regulation would have helped them and that they didn't need a timeout to set up their defense. Jay Bilas and Bobby Knight disagree. Watch as Digger slowly starts to lose it... [Awful Announcing]

Roy Williams Still Loves His Jayhawks. Walking around San Antonio, there was more than a little animosity directed at North Carolina's Roy Williams from Kansas fans. The "Ruck Foy" and "Royvengence" shirts pretty much explained that those in Lawrence have no love for the school's former coach. Well, in a picture you won't see anywhere else (until CBS spots him on TV), it's clear that Roy still has some love for Kansas. [The Sporting Blog]

Supernintendo Chalmers! Does it taste like burning, Roy? Kansas wins. Roy loses. We won money on brackets. Life is good. Thank you Supernintendo Chalmers, for that ridiculously impossible three pointer that you nailed. Congrats Billy Self. Tough loss Johnny Cal. And, uh, Memphis, you might want to think about not laughing off that whole "free throw" thing. [Brahsome]

Just So We're Clear ... So what you're saying, Coach Cal, is that you're not concerned with how your team shoots free throws, right? Are we understanding that correctly? [Rush The Court]

Yes, Memphis Choked. Sorry, That's How It Is. So we're two major sporting events into 2008, and we've seen two colossal chokes. Though some refuse to admit it, the New England Patriots — two touchdown favorites — gagged against the Giants. The Tigers, up nine last night with 122 seconds left and seemingly a lock to sew up the school's first title, choked. The Masters is this weekend — wouldn't that be something if Tiger faded down the stretch? [The Big Lead]

A Walk Around Blue Heaven; Kansas Wins The NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. There was no underlying story line of sultry blues against the heartland. We weren't overly bombarded with the message of Goliath-come-lately versus Goliath-Always-and-Forever. Memphis and Kansas met last night without any scintillating story line, and offered up a game for the ages. [Stet Sports Blog]