Trailing by 15 at halftime, Kansas stormed back to escape North Carolina 72-69 in a thrilling game of momentum swings to win the national championship game Monday before 69,423 at the Superdome.
The Jayhawks won their fourth national championship and second under coach Bill Self.
The comeback was one of the biggest ever in a national title game. The Jayhawks came out as a completely different team in the second half, amping up their defensive pressure and perfecting their high-octane offensive tempo to take control of the game’s momentum.
"I don't know that I ever had a team flip the script like we have," Self said. "To win when your team had to fight and come back the way they did and show that much grit makes this one off the charts."
If the Tar Heels (29-10) attempted a knockout blow with their first-half offensive clinic, Kansas (34-6) had a counter-punch all second half in a down-to-the-wire finish. The Jayhawks used a 31-10 rally and took a 56-50 lead midway through the second half off three consecutive huge plays — an Ochai Agbaji three-point play, a Remy Martin three-pointer and then a Jalen Wilson and-1.