The Kansas Jayhawks complete a historic comeback to win the NCAA title

University of Kansas Wins 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game


Photo by: Matt Tait

The Kansas Jayhawks hoist the NCAA men’s championship trophy

In the course of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, the number one seed Kansas Jayhawks, guided by head coach Bill Seff, battled the North Carolina Tar Heels who originally entered the contest seeded at number eight under the direction of Coach Hubert Davis. Transpiring on Monday, April 4, the pair of college teams faced off at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana with their vision set on winning the highly coveted NCAA Championship trophy.

David McCormack and Armando Bacot attempt to get the ball for their respective teams. (Photo by: Ray Gaydos)

This match came after the Jayhawks and Tarheels won both of their games in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Kansas revealed once more that they can control a game from start to finish, winning 81-65  against the Villanova Wildcats, while North Carolina showcased their resiliency by recovering against the Duke Blue Devils 81-77 in the Final Four.  Additionally, North Carolina attempted to secure their second NCAA Championship trophy in six years and their sixth in franchise history. While Kansas aimed to pick up their fourth NCAA Championship trophy in franchise history after not winning one since 2008.

To start off the game, Kansas won the jump ball, helping them start the game with momentum offensively. Throughout the beginning stages of this contest, North Carolina struggled mightily offensively,

Kansas and North Carolina get out in transition. (Photo by: Wall Street Journal)

giving the Jayhawks offense more opportunities to score. Within five minutes, a timeout was called with approximately 15 minutes left in the first half. During the time, North Carolina discussed how they were going to find rhythm by getting easy shots offensively and stops defensively. Subsequent to the timeout, North Carolina started to attempt shots closer to the basket while embracing the physical contact from Kansas. In four offensive possessions, the Tar Heels began to take the momentum that the Jayhawks had prior to the first stoppage point of the game. North Carolina did this by searching for easier shots, getting to the free throw, and collecting offensive rebounds for more chances to score. With ten minutes left in the first half, North Carolina looked to keep the game within striking distance, with Kansas trying to maintain a close lead.

Kansas guard Remy Martin celebrates after a made three point shot.(Photo By: Eddie Pells)

Halfway through the first half, both Kansas and North Carolina reinforced their game-plan in their huddles as the game proceeded. After a stoppage of play, the Tar Heels played defense to perfection against the Jayhawk’s offense, eventually giving them more chances to score with each offensive possession. North Carolina dominated Kansas for a six-minute stretch, going on an impressive 20-4 run prior to an official television timeout. The Tar Heels put themselves in a great position at that stage of the game as Kansas was all out of answers. This was the case due to ultimate team effort defensively, constantly getting chances at the free-throw line, and second-chance opportunities. North Carolina would end off the half with a 40-25 lead over the Kansas Jayhawks, which meant that if the Jayhawks were going to win, they would have to pull off the largest second-half comeback in NCAA Men’s Championship history. As the first half came to a close, the pair of college teams headed to the locker room to discuss any in-game adjustments before to second half.

Kansas Guard Christian Braun attempts to make a layup (Photo by: Brett Wilhelm)


As the second half initiated, North Carolina received the ball first after winning the jump ball. Throughout the developing moments of the second half, the Jayhawks played impressive defense overall against North Carolina’s offense accompanied by effective offensive possessions.

David McCormack attempts a hook shot on Brady Manek (Photo by: The Seattle Times)

Kansas’ effort defensively was extremely contagious; forcing two turnovers, making the Tar Heels shoot 20% from the field, and only allowing five points in the first five minutes. Following the timeout, North Carolina’s problems offensively began to linger within the beginning stages of the second half; failing to get something productive out of each offensive possession. This led to Kansas storming back into the game in less than ten minutes and taking away all of North Carolina’s confidence. As the end of the third quarter approached, Kansas looked to sustain a formula that worked throughout the start of the second half; however, North Carolina attempted to combat that formula by figuring out what worked in the first half so they can use it to their advantage.

Brady Manek tips the ball against David McCormack (Photo by: Gerald Herbert)

During the final stretch of the game, the Jayhawks and Tar Heels both called a time-out as the game raced to the finish line. Following the timeout, Kansas showcased their resiliency by breaking the tie and giving themselves the confidence needed to pull out a win. During the last minutes, North Carolina and Kansas traded points back and forth, nevertheless, despite Kansas having all the momentum, North Carolina was able to tie the game because of Armando Bacot and Brady Manek making both of their free throws. With the game close to the end, Kansas and North Carolina continued to go back and forth, with three lead changes in the span of two minutes. In the last minute, the Jayhawk’s big man David McCormack made multiple shots along with Kansas making a timely stop in between those two possessions.

Kansas defends against a potential tiebreaker. (Photo by: New York Times)

With fifteen seconds left, the Tar Heels failed to score, with Caleb Love and Puff Johnson missing three shots on the perimeter while turning the ball over once. As the game concluded, the Kansas Jayhawks beat the North Carolina Tarheels 72-69; making it the biggest second-half comeback in NCAA Men’s Championship history.

Kansas finished the season with a record of 34-6, winning their first championship since 2008 and overcoming huge adversity. On the other hand, North Carolina finished the season with a record of 29-10, coming off a disappointing loss in the championship game. However, with fourteen players returning next year for the Tar Heels, they are expected to be in contention for another National Championship. Some important players returning include Caleb Love, RJ Davis and Dawson Garcia. For Kansas, seven seniors will be graduating, including Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack and Remy Martin. Nevertheless, Kansas will have players return from this season as well as other players that were red-shirts from this season. In summary, the pair of college teams will have something to prove for next season as this college basketball season officially comes to a close.