New Orleans – Tonight New Orleans’ Caesars Superdome hosted the final game of the men’s college basketball season, the 2022 National Championship.
The game featured Kansas and North Carolina, 2 of the most storied programs in college basketball history and you could definitely tell by how their fan bases filled the Superdome. For Kansas they looked to win their 3rd National title and first since 2018 while UNC looked to secure their 7th title in school history and 3rd in 6 years.
As it is every year, the NCAA Tournament has always been about guard play and which team’s guards would show up more. So was it going to be the combination of RJ Davis and Caleb Love or was it going to be Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun, and Remy Martin? Also, coming into the game we knew it was going to be a game between 2 very potent offenses and one of their defenses would need to step up.
Both of those sentiments weren’t true in the 1st half. It was all about the UNC bigs and neither team’s offense got going. UNC shot 34.4% from the floor in the 1st half while Kansas was worse shooting 28.1. The big men for UNC, Armando Bacot and Brady Manek were the reason for their 15 point first half lead even thought guard RJ Davis did have a very solid half.
Kansas started the game with an abundance of energy and physicality but after a timeout 5 minutes into the game that changed and UNC took over in both of those aspects of the game.
Things picked up in the 2nd half though.
Kansas’ guard play got much better and they were able to get back into the game and make this the game that people thought it was going to be.
It was truly a great second half and Kansas came out the gate with much better energy, effort, physicality, and intensity. Particularly on the defensive end. They bated UNC into taking bad shot after bad shot and made things extremely hard for them. Not sure if they even got a good shot in the half. They particularly did a great job on the UNC guards who shot a combined 10-41 on the night.
Kansas was known for the offense this season but they used their defense to have the biggest comeback in the NCAA Championship game and win 72-69. They were led by David McCormack who had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Jalen Wilson who had 15 points and 4 rebounds. Remy Martin was great off the bench with his 14 points that included some very clutch shots. Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun were also solid and had 12 points each.
Ochai received the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award while teammate David McCormack joined him, Duke’s Paolo Banchero, UNC’s Armando Bacot and Caleb Love on the All Tournament team.
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