By Sunny Walia
April 27, 2022
The Jumbotron at the Jayhawks vs Tar Heels game on the Kansas University Instagram
(Photo Credits: Sunny Walia)
SAN JOSE, CALIF. — The Kansas Jayhawks beat the UNC Tarheels 72-69 in historic comeback fashion on April 4 at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Jayhawks held the first seed in the Midwest with a 34-6 record, while the Tarheels had a 29-10 record holding the eighth seed in the East. This game was the NCAA finals which ended March Madness, a month of intense college basketball games.
The Jayhawks comeback took the spot for the largest NCAA final comeback, since the Loyola Chicago’s Wolves came back from a 15 point deficit against the Cincinnati Bearcats in 1963. This comeback broke a 59 year record.
The game started with the Jayhawks having a 7-0 lead, but the Tarheels were able to make a 40-18 run. The Tarheels largest lead was 16 points over the Jayhawks with 2:17 left in the first half, and ending up with the Tarheels being up 15 points at halftime. The score was 40-25 at the break. The Jayhawks stormed to the locker room at halftime. This is when the Jayhawks, after the players had rallied together and coach Bill Self spoke to them, came out of halftime with a 31-10 run.
The Jayhawks top players were Jalen Wilson with 15 points and David McCormack with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Ochai Abaji, had 12 points for the Jayhawks and was voted the “Most Outstanding Player” in the Final Four. The Tarheels top scorers were Armando Bacot with 15 points and Brady Manek with 13 points. Caleb Love, RJ Davis, Manek, and Bacot had clutch shots and game tying buckets in the final stretches of the game. However, this was not enough to keep the Jayhawks from making a comeback.
The last time the Jayhawks had won a championship was 2008, breaking their 14 year dry spell in the finals as well.