The University of Kansas Jayhawks take on the Memphis Tigers Monday in the men's college basketball national championship game in San Antonio, Texas. As VOA's David Byrd reports, Kansas is trying to win its first title in 20 years and Memphis has never taken home the trophy.
The Memphis Tigers dismantled UCLA in their semifinal game Saturday, 78-63. Chris Douglas-Roberts led Memphis with 28 points.
Memphis last made it to the title game in 1973, when it lost to UCLA. Freshman Derrick Rose had 25 points in Saturday's semifinal win and he says that his team is approaching every game believing it can win.
"We never go into a game saying 'we're going to lose.' You're setting yourself up for failure. Why not say you're going to win? With the team we have, you know, it's hard beating us," he said.
Rose and his teammates now take on the Kansas Jayhawks, who blasted North Carolina off the courts 84-66 Saturday. Kansas Coach Bill Self says that his team's strategy is to keep Memphis far from the basket.
"We've got to eliminate them getting to the paint (blocked area from the basket out to the free throw line) because when they get to the paint that's how they play and good things generally happen. You don't shut them out. We just have to do a good job and hopefully limit their good shots and not let them get easy baskets," he said.
Kansas last played in the title game in 2003, when it lost to Syracuse. The Jayhawks have not won the national title since 1988.