FanDuel - WFBC

April 08, 2008

Kansas Wins National Title...: ....although to read the article you would think that Memphis had it gift wrapped.

posted by Tinman to basketball at 12:04 AM - 36 comments

Despite Calipari's remarks regarding "that kid..." Chalmers clutch three is what championships are made of.

posted by Tinman at 12:43 AM on April 08

Yawn... it was an exciting couple of minutes at the end, but one of the least memorable finals I can remember as far as hype/ pre-game buzz goes. I just really didn't care when it came right down to it.

posted by everett at 01:53 AM on April 08

Everett, my KU homerism aside, this was a game that featured two teams that were both among the elite class of teams, complete with stars, all-americans, and future NBA players. They battled back and forth, the lead changing hands several times. There was a great comeback, including an iconic buzzer-beater to send it to an overtime. So i can't see how you thought that this game was boring, at least if you are a college bball fan. What more did the game need to be interesting?

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:10 AM on April 08

I was pulling for memphis. They were the most impressive team I saw during the tournament. That said, it's hard to feel sorry for them. Hit a couple of free throws, they win. It was in their hands. Not much more they could ask for. Memphis looked crushed after the three. They had no chance in over time. They had blown it, and they knew it.

posted by justgary at 02:14 AM on April 08

Nothing like watching a team choke at the line.

posted by budman13 at 05:19 AM on April 08

You know everyone keeps talking about Memphis blowing it and Memphis giving it away. Yea they needed to hit the free throws and all but what about Kansas never giving up. They could have easily said at 2:12 that it is over we can't come back. Instead they did exactly what they needed to do to win. Collins steal on the in bounds pass was the turning point. They did a great job of getting the ball in and bringing it down in the last 10 seconds. Collins did a tremendous job of avoiding the foul and getting into Chalmers hands. Mario did what every Kansas fan has watched him do for 3 years. Hit the pressure shot. The game was nothing less than what everyone expected. Two evenly matched teams playing a close, well fought game. Please don't take anything away from the Jayhawks.

posted by scottypup at 07:38 AM on April 08

Congrats to Kansas... Keep it in the Big 12... I think Calipari got a little lost in the moment and didn't think about calling a time-out to set his defense for the final 10 seconds... Foul Kansas and it puts them on the line and it makes them think about bricking the second free throw to try and get the ball for a 2 pointer... Admitted, it was a tough contested shot that went in for the 3... Have to say with 2.1 left, another time-out should have been called (Memphis had 2 to use) and setup a play... Thats plenty of time to get people where you want them... Lesson learned... Kansas never gave up... They deserve it because of that...

posted by bruce2ww at 07:57 AM on April 08

It's funny how the talk before the tournament about Memphis was that they didn't shoot free throws well, but when they were still around come the Final Four, that all went away. The thing was, they weren't really in close games (except Mississippi State), so they weren't shooting a lot of free throws to salt away early games. Finally, in the championship game, they came up against a team that could hang with them, and their free throw shooting allowed the comeback they had been avoiding but everyone knew could happen all along. Great game. I, too, thought it was over for Kansas was over when the Tigers pushed the lead to 9 with 3 minutes left, but the Jayhawks came up with the plays they needed to pull it out. I love how Collins is flying out of bounds after making the handoff while Chalmers is nailing the game-tying 3.

posted by bender at 08:05 AM on April 08

Collins steal on the in bounds pass was the turning point. I think it was Memphis missing, IIRC, 5 of their last 6 FTs.

posted by jmd82 at 08:18 AM on April 08

How anyone could think that game was boring is beyond me. Is it really possible that any game that goes to overtime could be considered ho-hum? That said, I watched the game on the jumbotron at Allen Field House last night. There were more than 10,000 people there, and it was amazing. When Chalmers hit the three, I was afraid there was going to be a riot. With 10 seconds left, all ten thousand tried to rush the floor, then we all walked down the hill to Massachusetts Street. Downtown Lawrence looks like a tornado went through it this morning.

posted by hawkguy at 08:55 AM on April 08

I thought that was a great game, despite not having a horse in the race. While Kansas deserves credit for some big plays and not giving up, Memphis could have iced the game by hitting the freebies. I feel for the Memphis guys losing that way, especially Douglas-Roberts and Rose, because their free throw shooting down the stretch will haunt them for years.

posted by curlyelk at 09:45 AM on April 08

Free throws are one facet of the game. They aren't separate from the rest of it, so the fact that they missed crucial ones doesn't mean they "gave the game away," instead it means that they didn't play well enough to win. Psychologically they may feel that they gave it away, but in reality they didn't play forty minutes.

posted by brainofdtrain at 10:12 AM on April 08

Yea they needed to hit the free throws and all but what about Kansas never giving up. They could have easily said at 2:12 that it is over we can't come back. Instead they did exactly what they needed to do to win. Pointing out that Memphis killed themselves with missed free throws is not taking away from Kansas. Free throws are a part of the game. Memphis failed at that part of the game. If they succeed they come away victorious. To not acknowledge that would be to ignore the truth. Kansas did what a championship team does. They took advantage. And in over time took over. They still had to make the plays, the shots, to win. And they did. Though no credit for not giving up. Giving up? There was plenty of time on the clock. You might as well give them credit for showing up.

posted by justgary at 11:27 AM on April 08

I don't think anyone is taking anything away from Kansas, scottypup... The comments have been directed at the dramatic collapse on the half of the Tigers. Dorsey fouling out, the missed free throws, the almost-three-pointer... all these mistakes ultimately cost Memphis the title. Kansas had the skill and the determination to take advantage of the miscues, but that's what a good team is supposed to do. Congratulations to Kansas for a very enjoyable final, and I wish Rush luck in the NBA.

posted by Goyoucolts at 11:37 AM on April 08

Agreed. Memphis may have choked, but it still takes a great team to get to the finals and send it to overtime. Kansas was still required to go out and get it, and that's just what they did. Congratulations, Jayhawks. You guys earned this one.

posted by NerfballPro at 12:00 PM on April 08

Congrats to both Memphis and Kansas. Great job Kansas for making it all the way to the finish line. Of course, I hadn't picked either of these teams to win in the Final Four, so it should have seemed inevitable. I can understand the feelings some people have about waning interest in the game. If you don't have a horse in the race or if your bracket is completely ruined (as mine was) some of the excitement starts to erode a bit. I know for myself, I sort of deflated a bit after Saturday. Don't get me wrong, I watched and enjoyed the Championship, by it was from the viewpoint of casual observer with no rooting interest. I guess I'm just one of those sports fans who need to feel strongly one way or the other for the game to grab me.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:04 PM on April 08

Putting Memphis on the free throw line was, as Coach Self mentioned, strategic. I think that makes it more of a Kansas doing a positive thing than Memphis doing a negative thing. Watching the press conferences during the tournament, Memphis seemed to wear it as a badge of honor. Kansas knew this, and they exploited it.

posted by hawkguy at 12:41 PM on April 08

Cut me and I bleed Crimson and Blue. The game came down to poise and I give that credit to Bill Self. Calipari lost control of the game and lost control of his team. Forget sitting on two times-out with ten seconds to go. Forget not getting the foul on Sharron Collins. Memphis was whupped at the end of regulation. You could see it in their eyes. Both teams had five minutes to win it in OT. Calipari lost it before the overtime tip-off.

posted by Monkeyhawk at 01:14 PM on April 08

I loved Calipari's quip about Rose's overturned three pointer. Even though it was clearly a two point shot he said he's going to lobby against further reviews. By continuing to refer to Chalmers as "that kid" or "a kid" and pouting about a correctly overturned call, Calipari revealed himself to be a whiny little bitch. He simultaneously accepted responsibility for the loss while making excuses for it not being his fault. My nephews display better sportsmanship.

posted by Tinman at 01:35 PM on April 08

It is awfully hard to win without hitting your free throws. Memphis had the game within their grasp and they blew it. That said, props to Kansas for the great tournament run. Does anyone else find it absurd that the game didn't start until around 9:20 EST? Is the NCAA trying to prevent people from watching the second half?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:29 PM on April 08

Does anyone else find it absurd that the game didn't start until around 9:20 EST? Not at all. It was critical for the network to maximize viewer percentage. In order to do that, they had to schedule it at a time when everyone on the west coast was settled in front of their 60" plasma with a plate of iced lime prawns and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

posted by irunfromclones at 02:42 PM on April 08

In order to do that, they had to schedule it at a time when everyone on the west coast was settled in front of their 60" plasma with a plate of iced lime prawns and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Really? Really? I'm gonna have to assume that's a joke because that cliche is so tired and worn out it's embarrassing. Believe it or not, there are over 53 million people in the Pacific Time zone, most of who have jobs and some of whom like to watch basketball AFTER their job ends.

posted by cjets at 03:09 PM on April 08

Besides, when I get home from work, I have a nice glass of Zin. It's nowhere near warm enough to drink Sauvignon Blanc yet. C'mon irun, you know better. Makin us all sound like philistines!

posted by tahoemoj at 03:44 PM on April 08

Yeah, how you can call it *boring* is beyond me. I mean, though, you did say you didn't care about either of the teams, so that might be why. Yes. Freethrows. That was the UMem bugbear all season and ,even though it ran off to the shadows during the dance, it came back to strike when I expected it to. (I'm sorry to say) I think, honestly, the gamechanger was Dorsey's fouling out with 2 mins left, and his absence was especially felt in overtime. A fantastic game, but it didn't keep me from being sad all day. Kansas will be there and get it again. Memphis? I might not live to see it.

posted by Adept at 04:55 PM on April 08

I was the guest of Delta Airlines for most of yesterday, and I got home just in time to watch the last few seconds of regulation and the OT. From that small snippet and the remarks of the commentators, it seemed to me that Kansas richly deserved the win. Memphis had a weakness and Kansas exploited it. That's fair play in sports and warfare. Chalmers shot was NBA caliber, and made for a truly exciting finish. I'm not sure that Memphis had a chance to foul before the final shot in regulation, because the ball was outside the 3-point arc for the entire posession. Any Kansas player feeling contact could have then thrown the ball in the general direction of the basket and earned 3 from the line. It might have given Memphis a few extra seconds to get a final shot, but nothing else. Hawkguy, that must have been quite a time in Lawrence. I'll bet you had fun.

posted by Howard_T at 05:02 PM on April 08

Howard, it was amazing. I was 18 and down town after the 1988 championship, and maybe it's because it was 20 years ago, but this seems more special to me. I think it's because of the fact that it's not "Danny and the Miracles." I don't want to take anything away from that season, but this time it's a bunch of guys who all shared the spotlight and are forgoing the star role for the sake of the team. There were at least five players in double figures all throughout the tourney. As corney as it sounds, I am still getting chills watching coverage of the stuff that happened today.

posted by hawkguy at 06:39 PM on April 08

Hawkguy! What a coincidence. I was an 18 year old freshman in '88 as well. I was up on campus that night though. A great time to be a fan. I stayed home in KC for this year's celebration. The kids don't need a bunch of old men crashing their party. I had the chance to buy Manning a beer and say thank you a few years back. He was pretty cool to b.s. with. I would imagine this year's team will be drinking on this one for a long time too.

posted by Tinman at 08:18 PM on April 08

for the record: I didn't say the game itself was boring, I said the hype around the game was less than it could have been, and I had failed to be interested in the winner. I even added that the end of the game added some excitement.

posted by everett at 08:59 PM on April 08

Congratulations to Kansas, the team that played a full 45 minute game. Memphis not making their free throws in the last two minutes; worse than Chris Webber's timeout call.

posted by Newbie Walker at 11:48 PM on April 08

It's been said all year by many different people that free throws would come back to haunt Memphis and they were all right, but that is not the whole story. How many D1 coaches(Calipari) seem to have no game ending strategy, time -outs, fouls etc......... Granted Memphis had a good percentage when there was zero pressure, but choked at crunch time. Could it be that maybe the Memphis team puts more emphasis on practicing the 3 point shot, than they do shooting free throws at the end of every practice, or maybe they have dunk competitons. I saw Calipari on Sports Center about 1 month ago say that free throws would not be a factor with this team, WRONG! Let's face it, Self is flat out a better coach. I also heard Calipari say on a sports show that he was going to put this game in the hands of the players and let them do their thing. As I have said many times before that is AAU team coaching mentality that seems to prevail in basketball coaching today, wether it be a the D1 level or grade school level. You can go to a local park in your city and see this type of basketball any day of the week, it's alley ball! I have no dog in this fight but I think a fundamentally solid basketball team will beat a group of superior athletes that have basketball ability any day of the week. Congrats to both teams they certainly deserved to be there, but the best COACHED BASKETBALL team won.

posted by sportnut at 08:02 AM on April 09

Kansas deserved to win the game. The shot that "Super" Mario Chalmers hit will forever be remembered and Memphis will be known as the team that won the most games of any team in history and lost the game with poor free throw shooting in the last 2 and a half minutes. Kansas also made all the right plays down the stretch and dominated in overtime. I am happy for Kansas and I never liked Memphis anyway, I think their players are very arrogant. And sportnut what happened in the game is not because of the best coached basketball team but also how the players play. Calipari won coach of the year, remember that. I think that Calipari is still a better coach, the Kansas players just had more heart and guts to win that game. I will say this tho, one of the Memphis players should have fouled with about 5 or 6 seconds left. They probably would have won the game if they did that. I want to end by saying that Rose is a beast and CDR is a very skilled player altho he could have won the game for Memphis at the free throw line.

posted by Scars at 10:37 PM on April 09

Putting Memphis on the free throw line was, as Coach Self mentioned, strategic. I think that makes it more of a Kansas doing a positive thing than Memphis doing a negative thing. Putting a team with weak free throw shooting at the line to try and get back into a game with time running out is a strategy a bad high school coach would employ. Nothing special about it. Basketball 101. I'm always surprised at the defensiveness that comes out when missed free throws are brought up. If I said "memphis could have won if they weren't out rebounded so badly" no one would bat an eye. I'm guessing because in that example the other team would have something to do with it. But with missed free throws it falls only on the losing team. The other team had nothing to do with it. If memphis hits their free throws, they win. That doesn't mean they gave it away. It's a facet of the game they failed at. It could have been rebounding, or 3-point shooting, but in this case it was free throws. Kansas did what it took to win the game. The missed free throws wouldn't have meant anything if they hadn't been almost perfect at the end. It doesn't take away from the kansas victory to admit the truth. There's no need to try and spin the missed free throws into something positive for kansas. It was a negative for memphis. Taking advantage of it is what was positive for kansas. I think a fundamentally solid basketball team will beat a group of superior athletes that have basketball ability any day of the week. If that were the case the best coached team would win every year. The team that wins usually consists of fundamentally solid superior athletes. the Kansas players just had more heart and guts to win that game. Did their heart and guts cause memphis to miss free throws? The game was decided on a 3 pointer that probably wouldn't go in 50 percent of the time. If it clangs off the rim does that mean they lacked heart? Complete BS.

posted by justgary at 01:07 AM on April 10

That doesn't mean they gave it away. That's the point I was trying to make with the comment about fouling Memphis being a strategy. An earlier comment in the thread mentioned that Kansas didn't win, Memhis gave it away. And I just didn't see it that way.

posted by hawkguy at 08:53 AM on April 10

My point about coaching is painted with a broad brush. All I'm saying is that alot of what is mentioned in the thread in regard to winning and losing the game came down to what a player is doing or learning in the weekly practice. - " All the right plays down the stretch" End of game strategy is or should be a daily drill in practice. - " No foul shows lack of game winning strategy" Same as above. - " Kansas being perfect at the end" Apparently something that was taught in practice by Self and staff or they would not have been perfect down the stretch. - "Memphis foul trouble". This is something taught in practice also. How and when to use your fouls. I hear week after week that the team is a reflection of the coach, so heart and guts, and how the players play in a game are 2 catagories where I think coaching plays a major part of the success of a team. I thought it was a great game and both teams were very talented and could have won the game. I also think that fate / or luck has alot to do with the out come of the game. Maybe good coaching puts a team on the more positive side of luck or fate when the game is on the line.

posted by sportnut at 10:20 AM on April 10

Maybe good coaching puts a team on the more positive side of luck or fate when the game is on the line. Probably so. I'm not devaluing the importance of good coaching in general or in this game. In such a tight game decided by so little it's tough to point to any one thing, but in the broad sense I do agree with you. An earlier comment in the thread mentioned that Kansas didn't win, Memhis gave it away. And I just didn't see it that way. I think that's the minority view, and I agree, lame. Every game, especially with two teams so evenly matched, one team does what it takes to win, one to lose. Same here. The winner deserves to win, the loser deserves to lose.

posted by justgary at 11:02 AM on April 10

Kansas beat Memphis.

posted by irunfromclones at 02:35 PM on April 10

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