The University of Kansas has defeated Memphis, 75-68, to take the American men's big-college basketball title. As VOA's David Byrd reports from San Antonio, the game came down to some crucial shots in the waning minutes.
The game was evenly-matched and fast paced for most of Monday night. The lead changed hands nine times and the contest was tied eight times. The biggest lead was Memphis by nine in the second half, but Kansas was able to cut the lead to just two points with less than a minute to play.
Memphis freshman Derrick Rose made one of two free throws, to give the Tigers a 63-60 lead. But Kansas guard Mario Chalmers was able to hit a three-point shot with less than two seconds left, to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Kansas was able to pull away and Memphis could not make up the gap. Kansas Coach Bill Self says it was overwhelming to win such a hard-fought contest.
"You know it was a fabulous game. Both defenses were great and neither team got rhythm offensively and, God, we competed hard on every possession," he said. "You know it is one thing to win it is another thing to win the way we won. There is just no quit in these guys."
Memphis Coach John Calipari, whose Tigers lost just two games all year, said that Kansas deserved the national title because it never gave up.
"You've got to give them credit because for them not to stop playing and just keep fighting and making plays," he said. "My hat's off to them. I just got to tell you."
Monday's win is the first national title for Kansas in men's basketball since 1988.