David McCormack Was Smiling at Kansas Teammates While Losing by 15 to UNC at Halftime

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 5, 2022

Kansas forward David McCormack celebrates after scoring against North Carolina during the second half of a college basketball game in the finals of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Monday, April 4, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

David McCormack helped keep Kansas loose in the locker room on Monday despite a 15-point halftime deficit in the national title game against North Carolina.

Christian Braun said after the game that the senior was smiling at his teammates despite the Jayhawks trailing 40-25 at the time.

"I was like, 'Why are you smiling, dude? We're down 15,'" Braun said, per Jeff Borzello of ESPN. "He was telling me, 'Keep your head up, keep going, we'll be all right.' I was like, man, I don't know if I've ever been here before. Down 15 in a national championship game. I've definitely never been there."

Kansas responded in the second half, pulling out a 72-69 win for its first national title since 2008. It was the largest comeback in title-game history after North Carolina led by as many as 16 points in the first half.

McCormack was a key part of the Jayhawks' success, getting momentum back on their side with a dunk to open the second half. The center then made the final two baskets of the game to take the lead and expand it.

It seems his upbeat attitude at intermission was justified.