Tyshawn Taylor made two big free throws late, and All-American Thomas Robinson finished with 19 points and eight rebounds Saturday night to lift the Jayhawks to a come-from-behind 64-62 win over Ohio State in the Final Four — a game Kansas led for a grand total of 3 minutes, 48 seconds.
After scoring the game’s first bucket, Kansas didn’t lead again until Travis Releford made two free throws with 2:48 left. That lasted for 11 seconds, but the Jayhawks, who trailed by as many as 13, overcame another deficit and finally held on against the Buckeyes.
“It’s just been our thing all year, coming back,” Robinson said. “I don’t like doing it, but for some reason my team is pretty good when we’re down.”
More than pretty good. Kansas is one more magic act from bringing its second title in five years back to Allen Fieldhouse. It might take exactly that. The opponent is Kentucky, the big-time favorite to win it all, and a 69-61 winner over Louisville in the evening’s first semifinal. The Wildcats are an early 6.5-point favorite.
“It’s a dream to play the best team in the country, up `til now, hands down, the most consistent,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “It’s a thrill. And I think it’s even more of a thrill for us, because I don’t think anybody thought we could get here.”
Kansas’ next test will feature a coaching rematch between Self and John Calipari, who was with Memphis in 2008 when the Tigers missed four free throws down the stretch and blew a nine-point lead in an overtime loss to Mario Chalmers and the Jayhawks.
Sullinger was there a-plenty Saturday night, but he struggled. He finished with 11 points on 5-for-19 shooting, no fewer than three of them blocked by Jeff Withey, the Kansas center who finished with seven swats. Sullinger also had 11 rebounds and 3 blocks, but the sophomore who gave up NBA lottery money to return and win a championship will go without for at least another year.
[via Associated Press]
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