Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Weight Is Over

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Weight Is Over

Article excerpt

NEW ORLEANS - It took longer Monday night than expected. But the long-awaited John Calipari coronation finally could begin in earnest with 17.5 seconds to go at the Superdome.

It was at that point that Doron Lamb made two free throws to give the Wildcats an eight-point lead, and that's the way it ended as Kentucky opened an 18-point first-half lead and held on for a 67-59 victory in the NCAA title game. It's the first title for Kentucky (38-2) since 1998.

Anthony Davis had only six points for Kentucky, but his intimidation in the middle on defense was huge.

Calipari earned his first national title in his fourth appearance in the Final Four, although the NCAA currently only recognizes the back-to-back trips by the Wildcats the last two seasons. Calipari's first two appearances, with Massachusetts (1996) and Memphis (2008), have been vacated officially because of violations involving stars Marcus Camby and Derrick Rose, respectively.

Tyshawn Taylor's turnover with 54 seconds left and the Jayhawks (32-7) trailing by six was a back-breaker, because Kansas then had to foul and Marquis Teague made both ends of a one-and-one for a 65- 57 lead with 53 seconds to go. And after a Taylor basket in the lane and missed one-and-one by Teague left the Jayhawks again down six, Elijah Johnson traveled before he could launch a three-pointer.

Calipari's Memphis team blew a nine-point lead in the final 2:12 of regulation in the 2008 overtime loss to the Jayhawks in the final, and Kansas threatened to create some similar magic when Hoboken native Taylor made a three-pointer for the first time in the entire 2012 NCAA tournament and then scored on an old-school three- point play with 4:17 to go to cut the Jayhawks' deficit to 59-50.

Thomas Robinson then made two free throws with 3:52 left to tighten the score to 59-52. But Kentucky's Teague drained a three, and Kansas' Johnson answered with one of his own to trim the Wildcats' lead to 62-55. Robinson almost got an up-and-under layup to go down while being fouled, but the ball spun out of the basket and he settled for two free throws, making it 62-57 with 1:37 left. …

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