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Kansas survives two bizarre games to become March Madness Champions

The Kansas Jayhawks made a stunning second-half comeback against North Carolina to win the March Madness 2022 national championship. They rebounded from a 16-point deficit in the first half to win their fourth title. But the 72-69 win came only as Kansas survived two bizarre, near-disastrous games at the end of the game.

The first came by less than a minute as Kansas held on to a one-point lead and North Carolina owned the ball. The Tar Heels’ Armando Bacot – who became the first player in March Madness history to hit a double-double in six tournament games – drove to the basket but appeared to slip and lost the ball, which he handed to the Jayhawks.

Upon closer inspection, Bacot appeared to slip on a loose floorboard in the Caesars Superdome’s specially constructed basketball court. But he rolled his ankle while playing and didn’t run back onto the pitch. Kansas had a 5-on-4 advantage — but instead of attacking, they pulled up their dribbling and allowed the umpires to call a time-out.

According to CBS officials analyst Gene Steratore, if Kansas attacked the basket, the officials didn’t have to call the game dead to injury, but they decided against it and gave UNC a chance to bring in a fifth player. The television crew was stunned that the Jayhawks didn’t attempt to utilize an extra player on the floor, especially with the game in the last minute and the result being so close.

When play resumed, Kansas’ David McCormack made a two-point jump to extend the Jayhawks’ lead to three. Then, just seconds later, UNC’s Caleb Love hoisted a long 3-pointer with plenty of time on the clock, and Kansas landed the ball wide after an offensive rebound and another miss. With four seconds remaining and Kansas leading by three, they called a time-out, seemingly an inbound away from a national championship.

Caleb Love from North Carolina
Caleb Love raises a three in the final seconds of the national championship game
Getty Images

They passed the ball to Dajuan Harris Jr. – but as he sprinted across the court, he stepped to the sidelines. The umpires signaled out of bounds – unbelievable, giving North Carolina one last chance to level the game.

However, Caleb Love’s final attempt from deep was a wide left, and Kansas celebrated midway as a national champion.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/05/kansas-survives-two-bizarre-plays-to-become-march-madness-champions/ Kansas survives two bizarre games to become March Madness Champions

JOE HERNANDEZ

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