Kentucky Tops Kansas For 2012 NCAA National Championship Win

After defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels in St. Louis, the Kansas Jayhawks advanced to the Final Four along with the Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals and Ohio State Buckeyes.

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NCAA Tournament 2012 Championship, Kentucky Vs. Kansas Final Score: Jayhawks No Match For Favored Wildcats

The Kansas Jayhawks got as far a they had in four years Monday, but they weren't able to finish off the NCAA Tournament quite so impressively now as then—the Kentucky Wildcats were the winners of the 2012 NCAA national championship, topping KU 67-59 behind 22 points from Doron Lamb and a bizarre game from Anthony Davis, who went 1-10 for six points... and 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists, and three steals. The Jayhawks' second-half run simply wasn't quite enough to make up for their 27 first-half points.

For the Wildcats it's embattled coach John Calipari's first national championship victory, and the program's first win since 1998, when Tubby Smith was the keeper of one of basketball's most storied reputations. All-American Thomas Robinson struggled early but finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds for Kansas, whose national championship drought stretches all the way to... well, to 2008.

For more national championship analysis and reporting, check out SB Nation's 2012 NCAA Tournament storystream, or take a spin through our YouTube channel below:

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2012 NCAA Tournament Results: Kentucky Wildcats Win National Championship, Top Kansas 67-59

The Kentucky Wildcats did exactly what was expected of them Monday, winning the 2012 NCAA Tournament with a 67-59 national championship win over the Kansas Jayhawks. Anthony Davis was just 1-10 from the field, but he still grabbed 16 rebounds and altered shots all game. That was representative of the Jayhawks' night; whatever they did, it just wasn't enough to stop this monstrous Kentucky team. March Madness ended as expected: In April, with Kentucky the last team standing.

Doron Lamb led all scorers with 22 points; Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor led Kansas with 18 and 19 points, while Robinson added 17 rebounds. But after a slow start—they fell behind 41-27 at the half—the Jayhawks simply couldn't make up the deficit against Kentucky.

For more on the 2012 NCAA National Championship, you're going to want to take a look at SB Nation's YouTube channel, which is filled with more analysis than you'll likely be able to watch in one sitting:

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2012 National Championship, Kentucky Vs. Kansas Score Update: Thomas Robinson Struggles As Jayhawks Trail

Thomas Robinson, the Kansas Jayhawks' unanimous AP All-American, has struggled along with the rest of his team as they trail the Kentucky Wildcats in a suffocating second-half of the 2012 NCAA National Championship; he's 4-14 with 10 points and eight rebounds as the Jayhawks attempt to fight through a double-digit deficit in a low-scoring contest. Anthony Davis's offensive struggles haven't been enough to dent the Wildcats, but without Robinson Kansas has little shot against the country's No. 1 team. Thus far it looks like Kansas's March Madness run might suffer an ignominious April end as they trail 46-30.

Overall the Jayhawks are just 12-39 from the field; they've managed to slow the pace, as is customary, but the Wildcats are the ones who've taken advantage; they held the Jayhawks to just 27 points in the first half.

For more on the 2012 NCAA National Championship, and all the great March Madness we've seen already, check out SB Nation's YouTube channel, which is filled with more analysis than you could reasonably watch in one sitting:

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Final Four 2012: Kansas's Thomas Robinson A Unanimous All-American

March Madness has been concentrated, by means of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, into this year's Final Four, and Kansas Jayhawks fans are probably too busy to notice, but it's happened anyway: Junior star Thomas Robinson has been named an AP All-American—more impressively, he was named that unanimously. After two years with limited playing time, Robinson has emerged in 2011-12 fully formed, averaging 17.7 points and 11.8 rebounds and finishing second in the Big 12 with a PER of 27.8.

With Markieff and Marcus Morris gone, Robinson was always a candidate to have this kind of season, but it's been impressive to watch anyway. Now, with just two games separating him from the National Championship, he has a chance to top his season off with a little Kansas immortality.

More NCAA Final Four coverage handpicked from SB Nation St. Louis:

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NCAA Bracket 2012: Kansas Earns First Final Four Berth Since National Championship Run

It hasn't been long since the Kansas Jayhawks got this far down the NCAA bracket—2008, when they won the National Championship for the first time in 20 years—but I'm sure it's still welcome; a year after being stunned by VCU in the Elite Eight they topped the North Carolina Tar Heels and made their way to the crown jewel of March Madness, where they'll face the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, who toppled No. 1 Syracuse to escape the East regional.

Over at Rock Chalk Talk they're predictably excited; I especially enjoyed their pre game suggestion to Roy Williams: "he should lose today if he really wants to earn some brownie points." Done and done.

If you need a new bracket for the last two rounds, check out SB Nation's updated printable brackets here; for more updates and news about the closing games of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, follow along at SB Nation St. Louis, where we're almost over Saint Louis going down to Michigan State. Almost.

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NCAA Final Four 2012: Kansas Owes Home-Court Advantage Vs. UNC To Bracket

The Kansas Jayhawks are moving on to the 2012 NCAA Final Four, where they'll face the Ohio State Buckeyes. It's all thanks to their win—by a second-half-influenced score of 80-67 against the North Carolina Tar Heels—but was that at all thanks to their Midwest regional placement in St. Louis? St. Louis and Lawrence are hardly on speaking terms most of the year, but the Tar Heels fans', at the edge of what could reasonably be considered the Midwest, were overwhelmed by a wild KU crowd. They got home-court advantage by default.

It's hard to suggest that as a reason for their win—I'd probably lead off with Tyshawn Taylor's performance, if I were trying to come up with reasons—but it is an odd artifact of the seeding process.

More SB Nation St. Louis coverage of the Kansas Jayhawks' Elite Eight win over North Carolina:

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NCAA Bracket 2012, Kansas Vs. North Carolina Update: Tyshawn Taylor Outstanding For Jayhawks

Kansas vs. North Carolina has been one of the most exciting games of the Elite Eight, and the Kansas Jayhawks owe much of their high-scoring to an excellent performance from senior guard Tyshawn Taylor. Taylor's got a game-high 19 points on 9-16 shooting as the Jayhawks carry a small lead into the last 10 minutes of their March Madness capper with Roy Williams and the Tar Heels. He's also got four assists and four steals, disrupting the Tar Heels' attempts to move the ball without injured playmaker Kendall Marshall. With his strong performance the Jayhawks carry a 68-64 lead into the last seven minutes of the Midwest regional final.

With Thomas Robinson a little off now that John Henson is back in the game, Taylor's become a primary option for the Jayhawks, and it's paying off. It's clear he'd rather this wasn't the last college basketball game he ever plays, and so far it looks like he'll be able to make that happen.

More NCAA Tournament 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:

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March Madness 2012, Kansas Vs. North Carolina Update: Stilman White Strong In First Half

The North Carolina Tar Heels have had to deal with Kendall Marshall's injury ever since he left their Round of 32 contest in the 2012 NCAA Tournament with a wrist injury that required surgery, but March Madness is all about surprise performances: reserve freshman Stilman White was very strong in his first-half performance vs. the Kansas Jayhawks. He scored four points—shooting just twice and making two free throws—but he added six assists, facilitating an offense that raced right along with the Jayhawks to a 50-point half. With 15 minutes to go in the second half, the Tar Heels trail the Jayhawks 58-53, but that's not on White; he's been as good as UNC could possibly have expected.

In the regular season White was a non-factor—he averaged just 0.8 points in five minutes a game. He was similarly irrelevant in the Jayhawks' overtime win against a dangerous Ohio squad; in 32 minutes he scored two points on 0-4 shooting and tossed six more assists.

For more coverage of the 2012 NCAA Tournament as we approach the Final Four, and up-to-the-minute Kansas vs. North Carolina updates, follow the SB Nation St. Louis March Madness storystream.

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John Henson Injury: North Carolina Forward Rolls Ankle Vs. Kansas, Leaves Game

Junior North Carolina Tar Heels forward rolled his ankle early in the team's Elite Eight contest vs. the Kansas Jayhawks, putting another starter in doubt after a week of dealing with Kendall Marshall's wrist injury. Henson has been averaging 13.8 points and 10.1 rebounds for the Tar Heels in his best season yet, but an awkward landing has him on the UNC bench, receiving treatment for an apparent ankle injury.

It was a classic case of paint footwork gone awry:

Since then he's been on the UNC bench as the Tar Heels and Jayhawks play to an early 31-31 tie. The Tar Heels are still in this game, and Henson could be back soon, but in a high-scoring game like this it's hard to imagine them staying in this if they continue to hemorrhage starters.

For more up-to-the-minute-coverage of this Elite Eight game, and the Midwest Bracket's trip all the way to the Final Four, follow our SB Nation St. Louis storystream. We have animated gifs!

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March Madness 2012, North Carolina Vs. Kansas: Roy Williams Choked Up Over Matchup

Just in case you were worried the media wouldn't have enough March Madness storylines for you this year—just in case you fretted over the possibility that every trip to your 2012 NCAA bracket might not provoke an emotional reaction—just in case you were terrified that the tournament might turn into nothing more than a series of basketball games, the bracket gods have conspired to put Roy Williams and his North Carolina Tar Heels in the same bracket as his erstwhile Kansas Jayhawks. He is a little broken up about it.

This report out of New Orleans does a nice job of deepening the situation—especially by interviewing Bill Self, and touching on his equally impressive performance as coach in the years since 2003. That might be the toughest part for Roy Williams, though I'm sure he wouldn't admit it; since he's left, the Jayhawks have done a fair bit of repudiating his reputation as a genius, or at least confirming Bill Self's reputation for same.

For more up-to-the-minute UNC vs. Kansas coverage, follow SB Nation St. Louis's storystream.

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NCAA Tournament 2012, UNC Vs. Kansas: Midwest Regional's Elite Eight Matchup Starts Tonight

The Midwest Region's side of the 2012 NCAA bracket looked ripe for upsets heading into the Sweet 16, when North Carolina and Kansas faced low-seeded rivals Ohio and North Carolina State, but with the dust settled it's a good old No. 1-No. 2 battle for a Final Four berth as March Madness draws to a close. Kansas vs. UNC it is; the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis will be the setting as the Kansas Jayhawks and North Carolina Tarheels compete for (ostensibly) Midwestern supremacy. Former KU coach Roy Williams will tangle with the Bill Self-staffed Jayhawks at 4:05 CDT.

For the Tarheels, their overtime win over that underdog Ohio squad gave them another chance to hope for point guard Kendall Marshall's wrist injury to heal. That doesn't seem especially likely, although the Jayhawks, who beat NC State by a slim margin of 60-57, are practicing assuming he will.

More 2012 NCAA Tournament by SB Nation's own Midwest Regional, SB Nation St. Louis:

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