In a wild back-and-forth national title game in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 72-69. The Jayhawks were +600 to win the national title after the bracket reveal, and anybody who backed them at the time is feeling really great right now.
The Tar Heels withstood an early Jayhawks run to eventually tie things up 22-22. North Carolina then went on an impressive 16-0 run largely by getting to the foul line to take a 40-25 lead into halftime.
The Jayhawks stormed back, led by Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji. Remy Martin had a few big plays as well for Kansas, who erased that halftime deficit to take a 56-50 lead at one point in the second half. The Tar Heels withstood that run and got back in the game after a few nice plays from R.J. Davis. Puff Johnson’s triple tied the game at 57-57. Martin and Jalen Wilson continued raining threes for Kansas, while Johnson’s key offensive plays kept North Carolina in the contest.
Brady Manek had a key follow-up shot on a Caleb Love miss to put the Tar Heels up 69-68 with under two minutes left. David McCormack answered with a basket after grabbing an offensive rebound off his own miss to give the Jayhawks a 70-69 lead with under a minute left. Armando Bacot had a chance to take the lead on a drive, but he rolled the same right ankle he injured in the Final Four game against Duke. The big man left the game.
McCormack hit another big shot for Kansas, and the Tar Heels missed some game-tying shots before Manek threw the ball out of bounds after grabbing the offensive rebound. Kansas had a turnover on the following possession but North Carolina’s three-point attempt to tie the game didn’t go in.
Kansas won on the moneyline but North Carolina covered the spread at +4. The under hit on the total, which was at 152 entering the game.