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Kansas, Memphis Face Off in NCAA Title Game

April 07, 2008 03:11 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The Kansas Jayhawks and Memphis Tigers will play for the 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tonight in San Antonio’s Alamodome.

30-Second Summary

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Both teams won their Saturday semifinal games by double digits. Kansas beat former Jayhawks coach Roy Williams’s North Carolina team, running out to a 40–12 lead and surviving Carolina’s attempted comeback. Memphis avenged its 2006 Regional Final loss to UCLA, winning 78–63.

Kansas returns to the championship game for the first time since losing the 2003 final to Syracuse. After that game, Kansas coach Roy Williams left for the University of North Carolina and would go on to win the 2005 title. Williams’ replacement, Bill Self, took the Jayhawks to the tournament’s Elite Eight round twice, losing both times and earning the title “best basketball coach who has never been to a Final Four.”

Now, in a repeat of 2003, there are questions around whether Self will remain at Kansas or leave for his alma mater, Oklahoma State. Self has remained quiet on this issue.

The Jayhawks are looking to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their last championship and cap off an incredible year for Kansas athletics.

Since the arrival of former UMass and New Jersey Nets coach John Calipari in 2000, Memphis has developed into one of the country’s best teams, winning 30 games in each of the past three years. Using the Dribble-Drive Motion offense and a suffocating defense, it finished with a dominating 38-1 record this season.

Despite its success, many pundits discounted Memphis as a serious championship contender due to its weak schedule, focus on individual play and poor free-throw shooting.

Headline Links: Kansas beats Carolina, Memphis beats UCLA, Rose will start

Background: The Kansas Jayhawks and Memphis Tigers

Opinion and Analysis: Game Previews

Historical Context: 1988 and 1973

Reference: March Madness Guide

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