Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Extra Minutes: Kansas 75, Memphis 68 (OT)



2008 NCAA Tournament

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Full video coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2008 NCAA Tournament


2008 NCAA Tournament

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NCAA Championship Game

Some thoughts ... from San Antonio

Tom Keegan, Journal-World sports editor

"Mario Chalmers practically yawned when talking about hitting the biggest shot in school history, a low-key quality that made him the right guy to take it. The national champions can lay claim to being the best team (in every sense of the word) in Kansas history."

Ryan Greene, editor

"For anyone who didn't want to believe all year that KU did in fact have a go-to guy, may you forever be quieted. The best part about Chalmers' final shot was that it came on the same play which did not work at Oklahoma State and Texas in regular season losses. Chalmers, whose unwavering confidence was a big part of what made him KU's most clutch player all season, got off a pure, smooth shot fading to his left even with a hand in his face. Bill Self told his team in late-game huddles that the breaks would come, but his team would need to capitalize when they did. The fact that his talented, experienced team came through is a testament to just how great and unique a group this was."

Ryan Wood, Journal-World sports reporter

"One of the great NCAA championship games of all-time. And Mario Chalmers' shot will go down as one of the biggest in NCAA championship history. It was that large. This was an obvious sign that grit can take a talented team to the top. Kansas was down 60-51 with 2:12 left, and used hustle (Sherron Collins' steal) and talent (Chalmers' three) to claw back into it. Memphis didn't help itself by clanking free throw after free throw. In the end, the Jayhawks did what a champion does - never gave up, never gave in, and furiously pounced when Memphis gave them a chance."

Inside the numbers

15: Even though his scoring numbers throughout the Tournament's final weekend may have not made him an obvious choice for the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, Mario Chalmers succeeded with what got him by all season long - his ability to do a bit of everything. In the season's final game (and possibly his last as a Jayhawk), Chalmers had 18 points, four steals, three assists and three rebounds. The MOP honors guaranteed that after his KU career is done, at some point his No. 15 will hang from the Allen Fieldhouse rafters.

20: Darrell Arthur is known as quite possibly the most laid back guy on KU's roster, but something was different Monday. Sherron Collins said it was the fact that the sophomore forward was talking all day, taking everything more seriously. He was incredible, posting his fourth double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The scoring came on efficient 9-of-13 shooting, as he helped lead the three-headed monster of himself, Sasha Kaun and Darnell Jackson, who combined for 32 points and 20 rebounds. Most importantly, all three stayed out of foul trouble.

3: When Memphis players, coaches and fans look back on this game in the future, the one thing which may stick out more than anything could be the three key free throw misses in the final moments of regulation. Chris Douglas-Roberts missed his final three tries from the stripe before overtime (his only three misses there on the night), and Derrick Rose missed the front end of a two-shot trip with just under 11 seconds to play. That opened the door for Chalmers' heroics instead of potentially sealing the Tigers' first ever national title. Memphis was 12-of-19 from the stripe, while KU was 14-of-15.

39: Memphis hit just 25 of its 62 field goal attempts on the night, and KU did an excellent job of holding the Tigers to just nine second-chance points. The big number there was KU's 39 rebounds, outdoing Memphis by 11 on the boards. Of KU's 39 caroms collected, 30 were grabbed on the defensive glass.

34: The two teams combined to shoot 34 three-pointers (KU was 3-of-12, Memphis 6-of-22), but very, very few of those were open looks. This game was played very much in Memphis' patented style, which included plenty of one-on-one situations inside of the arc. That said, KU was 26-of-43 from two-point range, with Memphis going 19-of-40.

Just in case you missed it...

In KU's last national title game appearance in 2003, the one thing which was left for fans and critics to harp on was the Jayhawks' free throw shooting, hitting just 12 of 30 attempts in a loss to Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse. On Monday, KU went 14-of-15 from the line, including a 6-of-6 showing from Mario Chalmers. It was the perfect answer to Memphis' struggles at the stripe - which went against what the Tigers did at the line throughout much of the postseason - as John Calipari's club was 12-of-19.

Hopefully you didn't miss it...

Whether Bill Self wanted to admit it afterwards or not, winning the school's first national championship in 20 years (and third NCAA crown since 1952) made him both royalty in Lawrence forever and put him on another level in terms of the coaching ladder. Forever, he will have a national championship attached to most references of his name. That said, it's now time for a big raise from Lew Perkins, especially with the never-dying rumors of Oklahoma State being ready to break the bank to bring Self back to his alma mater.

They said it...

Rodrick Stewart on being the lucky charm behind the bench: "I hope I was. We won, that's really all that matters ... It's a better feeling, just knowing my last game as a Jayhawk we won. I was gonna joke around with coach Self and say 'Just put me in the game with one second to go on my crutches,' but I didn't want to chance that. But it's a good feeling."

Sherron Collins on knowing when his team would win: "Once they gave us a chance to get back in it, we just knew we were gonna come out and jump on 'em. And that's what we did. We knew we were gonna win it after regulation was over."

Sherron Collins on Memphis' athleticism and KU's underrated athleticism: "This was the most athletic team we played all year. Texas is athletic, too, but this is the most athletic team we played all year. We're athletic, too. Those were the questions. They said we couldn't run with North Carolina, how will we stop them, how we would stop Memphis, but no questions about how they'd stop us. We run all day, and that's what we do. And that's why we came out on top today."

Sherron Collins on where this ranks accomplishments in his life: "This is the most, besides my son, this is probably the best thing, and I wouldn't exchange it for nothing in the world."

Sherron Collins on what got into Darrell Arthur: "I think it clicked to him to win big. He was in a different mindset. Everything was serious. He just wanted to win. It was great for him and I was happy for ... He was talking. That's what we needed him to do. He was talking today, when he was on the court, he let you know where everything was at."

Darrell Arthur on being with his family afterwards: "They were bawlin' out there, cryin' so hard. I just hugged em after the game, and just told me they were so proud of me, and I just told them I loved them. It's just a great feeling just to win it. I never lost in a championship game, and I've just gotta add this one to the collection."

Darrell Arthur on shedding some tears after getting to his family: "I was trying to hold it back, but it started coming out. Those were just tears of happiness. It was crazy out there. I don't know how we won that game, but we found a way to win it, came back and held our own ... I cried after a couple losses in high school, but I never cried after a win."

Darrell Arthur on being a talkative force Monday: "I just knew we had to take it from 'em. I knew it was gonna be a hard-fought game, we just had to bring some motivation to the team, so I was just doing what I had to do to keep guys' spirits lifted."

Darrell Arthur on the Mario Chalmers play: "I didn't know what was going to happen, but I knew coach told us to put it in Mario's hands. He's been phenomenal with it, being in his position at the end of games. He did it against Texas last year, did it against Oklahoma a couple years back, and he's just a clutch player at this time."

Darrell Arthur on KU controlling the paint: "We were just trying to attack those guys and get those guys in foul trouble. I thought we did a great job on Dorsey, just putting a body on him. He was frustrated the whole game, crying to the refs and things like that, and I just thought we did a great job on him."

Darrell Arthur on this being a potential fitting ending to his KU career: "If it is, I can't think of a better way, but I'm just trying to enjoy the moment right now, not even thinking about it for another couple of weeks or so. I'll talk to my family, see what they want to do and go from there."

Darnell Jackson on Darrell Arthur: "After he kept scoring, he kept talking, and he kept telling guys we needed to rebound ... I just said keep running, hang it loose to darrell because he was hot."

Darnell Jackson on the emotional meaning of the win: "Everybody in this locker room has been through so much. Everybody's mother, dad, they're always there for us, they're at every game cheering for us. And sometimes, the parents get into it more than we do. And it's just so fun seeing them over there reacting ... After the game, everybody was over there crying because they knew we could do it and we believed we could do it, too."

Brandon Rush on his upcoming NBA decision: "I'm not thinking about nothing right now, just gonna wait it out and see what happens."

Brandon Rush on winning the title to cap his comeback: "It definitely feels good right now, just because this was one of my main goals coming back from my ACL surgery. And then I went up to the crowd to talk to my grandma. And my grandma was like 'I told you things happen for a reason.' I started smiling and gave her a big hug."

Mario Chalmers on his last-second shot history: "I've got a couple real ones, but I've got a lot of them from when I was little. It was something I always wanted to do, something I always practiced ... It's just a great feeling. Coach Self comes up with the perfect plays for the perfect opportunities, and this one worked for us."

Bill Self on talking to his team late in regulation: "The thing that I told them was that we will get a break, and when we catch a break, we've got to get one stop at a time and go score ... The breaks were that they missed one of two and they missed two of two, and Sherron made an unbelievable play to get the steal and then make the three in the corner ... That play right there just got us right back in it."

Bill Self on reflecting on his first Final Four: "This whole weekend's been a blur to me. Really the last eight or nine day's been a blur. It didn't seem it was in the air any longer than Davidson's was in the air, that's for sure. But isn't it a fine line between winning and losing when that could have ended our season? And then of course we make the same shot that they missed, and in athletics you understand it if you're around it every day."

Bill Self on how he's viewed now as a national championship winner: "I don't buy into all that stuff. The outside public may view people that win a championship differently, but coaches know you don't get smarter because a hard shot goes in or doesn't go in. I'm proud of our guys, happy for everybody involved, but I don't see it that way."

Bill Self on where this team ranks in KU history: "Kansas basketball, Dr. Naismith and Rupp and Allen and Owens and Brown and Williams and Wilt and you go on and on and on, there's so many great teams. This is the winningest team in the history of the program. And I told them tonight you'll remember it as the best team ever in the history of the program if we take care of business tonight, and that to me is very humbling to think of all the great players and all the great teams, and this one will go down as the best ever. And it's humbling to have a chance to work with that group of guys."

Bill Self on where his senior class ranks in KU history: "It's one of the winningest classes ever. Think about it, this senior class has won seven conference conference championships - four leagues, three conference tournaments - and a national championship. It's got to go down as maybe not the winningest class from a numbers standpoint, but it's got to go down as one of the best classes ever. Not the best players, not scored the most points, but gave us a chance to win every night."

Bill Self on the swirling Oklahoma State rumors: "If somebody from OSU calls me, I'm not gonna not take the call. That's my alma mater and I know people down there, but they haven't contacted me. And I said this last week, I would recommend they go in a different direction. I still feel that. I'm not gonna say that that couldn't potentially happen, because I guess it potentially can, but I want to visit with my athletic director because, to be real honest with you, I love Kansas. I love my job here, and hopefully it can be a situation where I can spend a long time here, and I'm certainly not looking to leave. But Lew and I got to visit, and I'm sure that'll happen the next couple days."


Dan Harris 14 years, 4 months ago

danimal-you beat me to it,sooballs can't jump on now, sooballs can still suck it!

smitty33 14 years, 4 months ago

Soobawls, Please don't post on here again. Find another site. You're an idiot. You've not said anything intelligent all season. Go away.

Jason Hohman 14 years, 4 months ago

Soobawls, you ARE an idiot. There is no trophy for winning on Saturday. What happened last night was the real thing and beating UNC does not compare.

Tbird_KU 14 years, 4 months ago

What an incredible game and awesome 3pt shot by Mario. Rock chalk jayhawks!!! 2008 National Champions!

Ed Fox 14 years, 4 months ago

Wow, does soobawls saying something decent about Coach Self count as another victory?!?!?

loudog 14 years, 4 months ago

HCBS on the senior class: "Not the best players, not scored the most points, but gave us a chance to win every night."SOOO true!!!Congratulations seniors.... you guys personified class and hard work. And the Jayhawk faithful will always love and remember you.

hawksdomain 14 years, 4 months ago

WOOHOO Way to go guys, I knew you could do it! ROCK CHALK, Baby, ROCK CHALK!!

hawaiijayhawk 14 years, 4 months ago

bp_josh...No ONE has said it better!!What an awesome year!! Unbelieveable...I'm- gonna- be -buzzin'- for- a- LONG- time year!!!!!!!

okiedave 14 years, 4 months ago

Isn't it great to be a Jayhawk!! The Tulsa World is reporting that most of the final four coaches in San Antonio believe Self is on his way to Looney Booney Un. The Tulsa World reports rumors that Eddie Sutton may be considering having his name removed from the OSU Court as he is so upset the way Boone Pickens and the AD treated his Son. OSU is going to learn that money does not buy success. If Self comes to OSU he is going to be a darling for two years, but if he does not bring big success then eyebrows are going to be raised about the cost.

JNgohawks 14 years, 4 months ago

yes, the Memphis players did seem to be thuggish, I was so happy to see their guy foul out, he should have been T'd for bumping Cole

danimal33 14 years, 4 months ago

So now that KU won it all, soobawls has something nice to say. Can you say "fairweather fan". What an idiot.

canuckhawk 14 years, 4 months ago

Great game, great effort. Rock Chalk Jayhawk. I'm really proud of our team. It was so great that many of our players shined through the tournament. Kaun was big. Aldrich played above everyones' expectations. Brandon's defense was amazing and he played aggressive. Collins provided a spark on offense but also really demonstrated that he's one of our overlooked defenders. Jackson was a terror down low. Mario was clutch--his 3 was amazing, no doubt, but his free throws in the final minutes were also huge. Robinson was a fierce defender and was extremely efficient on offense. I'm also very grateful for CBS MMOD. The streamed all the way through One Shining Moment. Which was worth all the Sonic, Toyota, Bud Light commercials I've endured these past week. Rock Chalk Baby! Wish I was on Mass.

actorman 14 years, 4 months ago

The first tournament was 1939, won by Oregon. KU was in it in 1940 and lost to Indiana in the title game.I wouldn't call it a propaganda machine to refer to only three championships. The 1922 and 1923 "titles" were voted on in 1936! So if anything it's propaganda to claim them as legitimate titles. Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly happy to say KU has five championships, but you can't blame someone for saying three.On another note, can we all please make a pact that the second ANYONE sees a post by gamedayreview, that person will click on "suggest removal." Maybe if we get his threads removed within a few seconds every time, the serial spamming jerk will eventually go away. I find him even more irritating than soobawls. As big a schmuck as people like soobawls can be, at least they're using this thread to express an opinion (incredibly misguided and/or antagonistic as it may be). What gamedayreview is doing is nothing short of assault.

ralsterKUMed95 14 years, 4 months ago

One of the most telling quotes is from Rodrick Stewart: "If I wasnt hurt and we lost, or if I was hurt and couldnt play, but we win, then I would rather be hurt and us WIN". To come from USC and still not get alot of playing time, yet just be there working hard for an opportunity, doing whatever helped the TEAM, Rodrick's quote epitomizes this team (and his own character). Mario's quote about "Coach Self always has the right play for the right opportunity, and it worked today" seems to directly refute soobawls critical comment about KUs coaching. How simple was Self's plan for UNC: "4 passes for UNC and 1 shot"--basically is getting them out of transition, they had to contend with our half-court defense, then shoot a 1-and-done type shot. If that (and Mario's quote+Memphis game Result) doesnt show coaching acumen, i dont know what else does? So, soobawls, while I respect your opinion, I disagree with your post, finding it unsubstantiated at this point. Be happy, man!

truehawkfan 14 years, 4 months ago

How is the weather in Mizzou soobawls? Since this talk of Self leaving, maybe you should apply? I bet you would be great, and we would all love you and support you on this site. Idiot.

ralsterKUMed95 14 years, 4 months ago

Soobawls, I respect your opinion as anyone's, but disagree with the critical comment about KUs coaching. So much evidence to the contrary:1)Mario's quote "Coach always has the right play called at the right time"2)Self's breakdown of UNC's vaunted transition game: "make them make 4 passes and 1-and-done shot", which is saying you have taken them out of transition by making them pass it around. Roy's teams NOT as strong in half-court offense. Excellent gameplan on Tyler Hansdouche...who spent alot of time on his back trying to flop his way to the FT line.3)Recruiting. Period. 4)Getting these McD AAs to play without ego or selfishness--what an accomplishment for any coach to get stellar players to buy into the 'team' philosophy--succeeded here in spectacular fashion!5)Having the heart and assistant staff to foster development and progress in the 'glue guys' such as Darnell and RussRob (and Kaun).6)What have other Div1 coaches said about Self? Certainly trumps any opinion you or I may have.7)What do his own players say about their coach? Look at the results: not only did they play, but played their tails off for him.8)The value of a coach such as Self apparently not lost on other schools' alumni, as some of the recent speculation regarding BIG$$$ to try to lure Self to OSU...I say we try to keep Bill Self. Just my (and alot of other people's) opinion.Oh, need I remind you that THIS coach and staff just won a National Championship! (with his players, his style of ball, his defensive philosophy, his toughness, his behind-the-scenes fatherly presence, and his exemplary support and advancement of the KU Basketball Tradition...)

Layne Pierce 14 years, 4 months ago

With Bill Self at the helm, we will win another Natl championship within 5 years. I believe we will get Xavier Henry, Carl's son, and maybe also Stephenson. After 2 years, the team will be back for another one. Believe. Like Coach said, you gotta believe.

bp_josh 14 years, 4 months ago

We've known it and said it all along, but looking back now it stands out more and more. This team, every single one of these guys, was special. For every one of them to play every game with heart, yet without ego, is amazing in modern sports. Every single one of them, from Coach Self, to whoever took on the role of superstar in each game, to the guys who only got to hustle in practice, deserves an equal share of this championship. With the level of play, talent, and sportsmanship shown by this team, I can't look back and see any other result. It was inevitable.Danny and the Miracles are remembered because of the way Danny Manning took over the tournament and carried his team to the top. This squad will be remembered as the ultimate team - the epitome of what every coach everywhere tries to instill in his players, no matter what level they're playing at.All that being said, Mario's shot seemed to take an eternity to reach the basket, and my heart was in my throat the whole time.

Dirk Medema 14 years, 4 months ago

Clarification - It's the 5th national title (2 in the 20's) but just the 3rd NCAA title, which wasn't born until the 40' (?)Don't let the propaganda machines steal half our history.Rock Chalk!

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