College Basketball National Championship

College Basketball National Championship

Jacob Susong (Junior), Reporter

This year’s men’s college basketball national championship took place in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The eighth seeded North Carolina Tar Heels took on the first seeded Kansas Jayhawks.  Two college basketball blue bloods, hungry for another championship.


North Carolina’s last championship win was in 2017 with legendary coach Roy Williams.  The past couple of seasons for the Tar Heels had been disappointments, and with Williams retiring, the future of the program was uncertain.  First year coach Hubert Davis was looking to get the program on the right track heading into the 2021-22 season.


“I think that North Carolina was in a really rough stretch over the last couple of years.  Usually, they are in the Final Four almost every year, but the last two years they hadn’t.  I was shocked how well they did in the tournament, especially being an eight seed.” said junior Aiden Frost.


North Carolina would end up making the tournament and playing Marquette in the first round, winning 95-63.  Their next big challenge was against the first seeded Baylor Bears.  The Tar Heels would go on to win that game in an overtime thriller 93-86.


“That Baylor vs North Carolina game was one of the best of the tournament. I thought that Baylor was going to pull out ahead but North Carolina stayed with them.” said junior Cayman Huntsman.


The next two games for Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels came against UCLA and then Saint Peters.  They would end up beating UCLA 73-66 and have to play the Cinderella story Peacocks, winning 69-49.


In the Final Four, North Carolina would be up against its rival, the Duke Blue Devils.  The two teams had never met in the tournament prior to this matchup.  The Heels would go on to defeat Duke in a hard-fought game 81-77, ending the legendary coaching career of Mike Krzyzewski.


The road for Kansas wasn’t much easier than that of North Carolina.  The Jayhawks hadn’t won a national title since 2008, and their fanbase was beginning to become restless.


In game one, they would match up against Texas Southern, winning by a score of 83-56.  Their second game came against the Creighton Blue Jays.  This game was hard fought, with the Jayhawks just edging Creighton by a score of 79-72.


In their next two games, Kansas would face fourth seeded Providence, and tenth seeded Miami (FL).  In their matchup with Providence, the Jayhawks battled in a back-and-forth affair, and would end up winning 66-61.  They would go on to blow our Miami, winning 76-50.


The Jayhawks would match up against Villanova in the Final Four.  Kansas never took its foot off the pedal in this one, winning easily by a score of 81-65.  This would set up a matchup with North Carolina for the championship.

In the first half of the National Championship game, North Carolina looked unstoppable.  They were knocking down shots, defending at a high level, protecting the ball, an down right out playing Kansas.  After being up 15 points at half time, it seemed like this year would be a repeat of 2017, when the Tar Heels beat Gonzaga.


“I really thought that they (North Carolina) had them beat.  They just looked like they were ready to play.” Said Junior Cannon Morton.


The second half, however, would be different.  The Jayhawks looked to have turned a corner.  They began to make shots.  The Heels cut the lead down, and eventually took the lead with just minutes remaining.  North Carolina looked flustered and would end up losing the game 72-69.  This was Kansas coach Bill Self’s second National Championship win.  A storybook ending to a historical season for Kansas.