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WATCH: Kansas alley-oop to start the comeback

Kansas was proclaimed NCAA champion after overcoming a 15-point deficit behind North Carolina. This was the first play of the second half.

Jennifer Bubel

The Kansas Jayhawks came back to win the NCAA championship over North Carolina after a 15-point deficit in the first half, the biggest deficit in NCAA history.

How did Kansas manage the comeback?

In the first half, UNC star player Armando Bacot dominated for the Tar Heels, sprained ankle or not. By the end of the first half, he’d already locked down a double double with 12 points and ten rebounds. It was Brady Manek who led North Carolina on a 16-0 run in the second quarter, though, which led to the Tar Heels taking a huge lead, 40-25 going into halftime.

Now, that is a tough deficit to come back from. But if you’re going to do it, you have to come out aggressive, and Kansas most certainly did. They came straight out of the locker room and immediately, David McCormack dropped an alley-oop to put Kansas on the board to start the second half, and the Jayhawks didn’t slow down. They managed to turn that 15-point deficit into just a one-point lead within seven minutes.

Kansas took the lead back with ten minutes to go and kept it until just about two minutes left. Then it was anyone’s ball game. It was McCormack again who came in clutch, giving Kansas the lead yet again by just a point with 1:21 still on the clock. After another bad fall on his already injured ankle forced Bacot out of the game, McCormack took the lead up even further for Kansas with 22 seconds on the clock. There were a couple close calls that made it seem that the Tar Heels would come back in those final seconds, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. The Jayhawks had a fire lit in them and there was no slowing them down from reaching that goal.

The Kansas Jayhawks are the 2022 NCAA Champions.


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