Posted: Apr 3, 2012 8:42 AM
Updated: Apr 3, 2012 8:42 AM
NEW ORLEANS - Kentucky won its eighth national championship in New Orleans Monday, holding off Kansas for a 67-59 victory Monday night.
The Wildcats (38-2) led by as many as 18 points in the first half and were still up 15 with 5:13 to play. Kansas (32-7), a team which rallied from several big deficits this season, was able to get as close as 62-57 with 1:37 to play.
Kentucky closed the game by making five of seven free throws over the final 1:11 and that set off quite a celebration in the Superdome.
Kentucky's Anthony Davis, only the second freshmen to be selected national player of the year, had six points on 1-of-10 shooting but finished with 16 rebounds and tied the championship-game record with six blocks.
Kentucky's last title came in 1998 and that year the Wildcats set the record for largest halftime deficit overcome, rallying from a 41-31 deficit to beat Utah 78-69. Kansas couldn't get that record.