(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Kansas couldn't come all the way back this
The gritty team that had walked a tightrope all the way to the national championship game finally fell off against mighty Kentucky. An 18-point deficit against a team full of future NBA draft picks was too much for the Jayhawks, who fell 67-59 on Monday night.
Kansas had rallied from big early deficits against Purdue and North Carolina State in the NCAA tournament, giving some folks the feeling that things were meant to be this season.
Such a premonition gained support when the Jayhawks dug themselves out of a 13-point hole against Ohio State in the national semifinals, setting up a showdown with the team that has been anointed the eventual national champions by many pundits most
of the season.
Kentucky's freshman standout Anthony Davis was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.
Davis' supporting cast made the most of their turns in the spotlight Monday night, picking up the scoring slack for their freshman star and overwhelming Kansas for a 67-59 victory in the NCAA title game that gave the Wildcats their eighth national title.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist set the tone a minute in, staying in the game after a hard foul that looked as if it might have dislocated his shoulder, and Marquis Teague and Doron Lamb hit clutch shots
that kept the held back the Jayhawks' late rally.
Terrence Jones and Darius Miller also made their marks in just
the type of team effort the Wildcats (38-2) had given all season.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)