It’s been a little over five years since KU won its last title in 2008 and some memories of that win seem just as fresh as if they happened yesterday – mainly the emotional journey that took place over ~4 minutes of game-time:
- 4:15 remaining in regulation – Derrick Rose hits a fadeaway & bank two-pointer (though initially ruled a three) as the shot clock expired to put the Tigers up by eight, just a minute or so after completing a three-point play involving a circus-like shot at the basket. At that moment in the Alamodome, I began to rationalize the trip to San Antonio and started the process of talking myself into how I had a good time despite losing to Memphis in the title game. Watching a recording of the game later, I found it funny that Jim Nantz called Rose’s bucket the shot of the tournament.
- 0:02.5 remaining in regulation – Mario Chalmers sinks the real shot of the tournament, tying the game and completing one of the most remarkable finishes ever in the NCAA championships. I can neither confirm nor deny that I came close to blacking out and wetting myself.
- 0:00 – After a desperate, half-court heave from Memphis misses, regulation ends in a tie. As soon as I see the body language of the Tigers as they walk to the sideline, I know that KU will win the game in OT and completely lose my mind in celebration. Naturally, I’m a little more excited about the trip and the last-minute costs of flying to San Antonio, and a short time afterwards I say that I never had any doubts at all about the Jayhawks’ chance of winning during the game.
KU BALLS has a variety of items commemorating KU’s championship on display. Pictured below is a basketball and t-shirt signed by the team, a piece of the Alamodome floor signed by Coach Self, and a frame holding a Self-signed program and Sports Illustrated magazines signed by Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush.
Here’s hoping KU makes it back to Texas in April of 2014…