A lot of folks went to bed at halftime of the national championship game after North Carolina built a 40-25 lead over Kansas with the Jayhawks looking completely out of sorts. A 35-14 run allowed the Tar Heels to build a 16-point lead in the first half but the Jayhawks came out of the break with a 31-10 push of their own to come back in front. In the end, Kansas hung on for a three-point victory to secure their first national title since 2008.
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The contest wasn’t always crisp throughout but Kansas head coach Bill Self made some critical adjustments in the locker room to change the pace of the game. The Jayhawks came out of the break with a much more aggressive tone, picking up the pace in transition and taking advantage of a strange change in game plan from North Carolina which abandoned their low post game for a large stretch early in the second half.
Highlights from the national championship game
The effort was excellent early from North Carolina, who outworked Kansas after some early jitters. This play saw four different Tar Heels touch the basketball to get a hard-earned bucket.
Brady Manek also caught fire early, knocking down consecutive three-pointers as part of a 13-point night to help North Carolina build its huge early lead.
The low point for Kansas came right before the half, when they failed to box out Puff Johnson on the final shot of the first. Johnson’s determination earned two key points and put UNC up 15 at the break.