Kansas Made Clutch Shots; Memphis Didn't

Gabe SimondsContributor IApril 8, 2008

I feel the Memphis Tigers truly lost this game for themselves.  They made many little mistakes and let Kansas claw their way back in.  They allowed a small chance for Kansas to come back, which a big mistake was considering Kansas’s excellent shooters proved a big threat.  Memphis didn’t do good in the last 2 minutes on the little things.

Their first mistake came when they where up by 7 with about 1:50 left in the game.  Sherron Collins stole an inbound pass and got it back soon after for an important three.  The little thing came back and gave Kansas a two possession game.  Kansas fouled Chris Douglas-Roberts at that point where for the only time in the 2 minute span, he did the little thing and sunk both of his free throws.

Next, with 1:23 remaining Dorsey got called for a very unnecessary and stupid blocking foul.  With Chalmers at the three, just stay a good distance away and make sure he doesn’t put of a three.  Dorsey ended his college career at that point and he took away a defensive and rebounding force inside.  To make matter worse, Chalmers sunk both shots and Kansas was back down by 4.

For the second time in a row, Douglas-Roberts was fouled and on a one-and-one he missed the first free throw giving Kansas the ball.  They ran down the length of the court, gave it to Darrel Arthur where he banked a 2 point shot.  Down by 2, Kansas was as close as Memphis wanted.  Douglas-Roberts again got fouled but this was on a double-bonus.  He missed both shots further disappointing himself and his teammates.

But the only mistake made by Kansas in the waning minutes of the game happened and Robert Dozier, who finished with a double-double quietly, grabbed the rebound.  He passed the ball, eventually making its way to freshman Derrick Rose, who if Memphis won would have probably won MOP of the Final Four, where he was hacked.  Derrick Rose made 1 out of 2 shots giving a three pointer the only hope for Kansas with: 10 left remaining.

Then bench player Collins ran down the court over to the right side of the Jayhawks side.  At that point he handed it off to Mario Chalmers who sunk a close-to fade away three for the tie ballgame.  Not only was it almost a fade away, basically a fade away, but he had Memphis guard Rose’s hand in his face altering his shot.  The shot still went in, in fact, swished to bring it into overtime.

At this point all momentum went in Kansas’s favor.  Kansas jumped to a 69-63 start.  That was too difficult for the Tigers to come giving Bill Self his first championship trophy and the Kansas Jayhawks their first in 20 years.

After the game John Calipari took FULL responsibility for his team’s loss saying you should never give up a seven point lead with 2 minutes remaining.  That and if one more free throw was made then Memphis would be cutting the net and Self would apologizing. 

Both teams look at the future and it doesn’t look good for either.  Kansas knows Brandon Rush will be going to the NBA, and Chalmers could be going to the NBA and I guarantee his friend leaving will affect his decision.  Also, point guard Russell Robinson, Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun are both seniors giving them no choice, but to leave.  That leaves just Darrell Arthur, who I think has a small chance of going to the NBA, as the remaining starter on this great Kansas team.  But freshman Cole Aldrich should nicely fill Jackson’s spot and Sherron Collins, who might just be the best bench player in the NCAA, will fill in Robinson’s place.  If Kansas wants to be like they were this year, start by convincing Mario Chalmers to stay in Kansas, because next year won’t be the same.

I think Memphis is worse off then next year than Kansas.  They will most definitely be losing Joey Dorsey who is a senior.  And the chances point to Derrick Rose, super freshman point guard, going to NBA.  Chris Douglas-Roberts won’t want to stay with his two friends and probably leave for NBA to as a junior.  That leaves Willie Kemp taking the playing time of Rose and Taggart taking Dorsey’s.  Robert Dozier and Antonio Anderson are staying filling 2 of 5 starting spots.  In my opinion though, Rose provided the offense with shooting, passing, and the team went as he went which was pretty much always good.  Douglas-Roberts was a key factor too always making shots when others weren’t, but with his breakdown late in the championship he might want to do it again.  Of course he might think they won’t will with Rose gone, but that remains a question mark.

This will be remembered as one of the greatest finals in the history of NCAA basketball.