Kansas Jayhawks Claim 2022 March Madness Title


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After several weeks of upsets, nail-biters and classic rivalries, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion has finally been decided. The Kansas University Jayhawks were the last team left standing in the dance after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels by a score of 72-69. However, the final score of the championship game fails to tell the story of how unpredictable and wild the 2022 March Madness tournament really was.

The tournament kicked off on March 17, and the round of 64 gave several upsets, but none was more shocking than No. 15 St. Peter’s astounding victory over No. two Kentucky that led to the destruction of hundreds of thousands previously perfect brackets. In fact, after the round of 64, no perfect bracket was left standing. More than 20 million brackets were submitted by fans for this year’s NCAA tournament, and like any other year, they all collapsed relatively quickly.

The round of 32 was just as entertaining. Defending champion and No. one Baylor failed to make it past the second round as they suffered an overtime defeat at the hands of No. eight North Carolina and Armando Bacot, who posted 15 points and 16 rebounds. St. Peters provided the world with another surprise, taking down No. seven Murray State in a convincing ten point victory. And in unexpected fashion, No. two Auburn fell to No. ten Miami in an 18-point rout. 

The Sweet Sixteen had several clear favorites as top-seeded programs were set up with mediocre-seeded teams, but the potential upsets prevailed. Firstly, No. one Gonzaga suffered a six point loss to No. four Arkansas. Gonzaga has made it to at least the Sweet Sixteen in their last six tournaments, but have still yet to hoist the NCAA championship trophy. Secondly, one of the favorites in No. one Arizona collapsed late against No. five Houston, extending their 25-year championship drought. Lastly, St. Peters continued their historic run by defeating No. three Purdue in a back-and-forth contest. 

The Elite Eight signaled the separation of four powerhouse teams from the lesser. St. Peter’s run came to an end against North Carolina, and even while they lost, their tournament performance still deserves recognition. From Jersey City, New Jersey, most college basketball fans had never even heard of St. Peters until the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, but they were still able to defeat prominent programs, such as Kentucky and Purdue. Several other matchups set the Final Four as No. two Duke beat No. four Arkansas in convincing fashion,  No. one Kansas destroyed Miami, and No. two Villanova edged Houston by six points. 

The Final Four gave fans one of the most anticipated matches in tournament history with storied rivals Duke and North Carolina set to decide a shot at the championship. While it was tight all the way through, North Carolina emerged victorious by four points, ending Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 42-year career as the head coach of Duke. In the other matchup, Kansas was able to handily defeat Villanova by 16 points.

It was predicted that the NCAA championship would be another close game, but it seemed to be going in a different direction from all indications of the first half. Going into halftime, North Carolina held a 15 point lead over the Jayhawks. The Tar Heels suddenly went cold though, allowing the Jayhawks to climb back into the game. Kansas forward David McCormack led the way with 15 points and ten rebounds, while point guard Christian Braun chipped in with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Jayhawks pulled out the eventual three point victory and earned their sixth NCAA title in program history.