NCAA Champions: Kansas Finally Proves Worth in San Antonio

Chris BrakebillCorrespondent IApril 8, 2008

It took a few weeks, and Kansas finally had to beat a couple of real teams, and the Jayhawks earned an National Championship in the process.

Through the first two weekends of the NCAA tournament, the Jayhawks plowed through a series of overmatched opponents.

In the first weekend, they easily handled 16-seed Portland State and eight-seed UNLV, typical opponents for a top seed on opening weekend.

 However, the next weekend, the weakness in their region gave them an easy ride against less-than-qualified teams. Kansas merely had to beat 11-seed Villanova and 10-seed Davidson to advance to the Final Four.

Yes, that's correct.  The best team (or at least the highest seed) that Kansas had to beat to get to the Final Four was UNLV. 

One could argue that Davidson was the best team in their way, but that's just more evidence that the selection committee got things all wrong.

Compare this to the situation in the East region.  Butler, the No. 7 seed in the region, was ranked No. 11 going into the tournament.  To get to the Final Four, Tennessee would have had to beat three of the top 13 teams in the country. 

North Carolina came out of the East region, as most people expected, but the Tar Heels seemed to have nothing left in their game against Kansas.

Or maybe Kansas was just finally ready to prove that they belonged.

While the Jayhawks’ road to get to the Final Four was undoubtedly pretty easy, what they did once they got there was not.

They dismantled a North Carolina team that was widely regarded as the favorite to win the tournament.  Then they scrapped to beat a Memphis team that had just set an NCAA record for wins in a single season.

The committee seemed to make some serious mistakes in seeding this tournament, giving Kansas an easy road to the Final Four.

But once Kansas got there, they beat two of the best teams in the country and earned the right to be called National Champions.