Kansas: Five National Championships
2008 National Champions
2008 National Championship Pregame Speech
38 NCAA Tournament Appearances
1,979 NCAA Wins--the third most in NCAA History
13 Final Fours
52 Conference Championships
| 2008 National Championship Postgame Speech
Kansas Wins 2008 NCAA Championship Over Memphis 75-68 In Overtime
Chalmers Heroic Three Sends Game To OT
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Trailing 60-51 with 2:12 left in regulation, Kansas mounted a comeback that will go down as one of the most memorable in KU history to win the 2008 NCAA Division I National Championship in the Alamodome. In overtime, Kansas defeated Memphis 75-68 for its fifth national title in school history. After Final Four MOP Mario Chalmers hit a game-tying three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime, the Jayhawks owned the extra period.
Overtime began with Sherron Collins stealing the ball and pitching ahead to Brandon Rush for a lay-in. Darrell Arthur slammed a lob from Chalmers and Darnell Jackson hit a bucket, and Memphis was never able to catch up. Despite the historic finish, Kansas struggled in the early going, and ultimately had three unforced turnovers in the first three minutes and 10 seconds. But, despite the early trouble handling the ball, KU trailed only 9-5 at the first commercial break. The timeout served the Jayhawks well as KU immediately got a dunk from Sasha Kaun and an easy lay-in from Arthur to knot the score at nine-apiece.
Over the course of the next four minutes the two teams traded punch-for-punch as Kansas got buckets from Collins and Jackson, while Chris Douglas-Roberts did all the damage for the Tigers. At the second media timeout, the score was tied 13-all. Once again after the timeout, Kansas got two quick buckets - one on a slash by Rush and the next on a three from Chalmers. With 8:26 on the clock, Kansas reached its biggest lead of the half with the score 22-15.
But the lead did not last as Memphis went on an 11-2 tear over the next two minutes to take a 26-24 advantage with 6:23 left in the period. Kansas answered with a driving layup from Collins and a vicious dunk by Kaun and, after another bucket from Douglas-Roberts, ended the half with a three-point play from Rush and a bucket from Arthur to lead 33-28 at intermission.
Memphis was the aggressor as the second half opened with the Tigers quickly outscoring the Jayhawks 8-2 to retake the lead. The game went back and forth until the 10-0 mark when, with the score 47-44 in KU's favor, Memphis went on a 10-0 run with the Tigers' Derrick Rose scoring eight points in the stretch. Memphis continued to stretch its lead until the 2:12 mark when it led by nine, 60-51.
With their backs against the wall, KU went to work. Arthur hit a mid-range jumper. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Collins dove for the ball, grabbed it, and saved it to Jackson who kicked it right back to Collins for a three-pointer to cut the lead to four in a span of eight seconds. With time ticking away, Kansas put Memphis on the free throw line where the Tigers missed three crucial charity shots in the final 1:15. With 10.8 seconds and Memphis up 62-60, Douglas-Roberts went to the line where he missed the first and made the second to make it 63-60.
Collins then raced the floor, drove into the lane and kicked the ball out to Chalmers with 3.9 seconds left. Chalmers then hit biggest shot of his life - a contested three that sent the game to overtime with 2.1 seconds remaining. Arthur led Kansas with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Chalmers scored 18 points to go with three boards, three assists and four steals. Rush and Collins finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Douglas-Roberts led all scorers with 22 for Memphis. Rose scored 18 and Robert Dozier had 11 points and 10 boards. KU once again owned the lane, outscoring the Tigers 44-26 in the paint and outrebounding Memphis 39-28.
The title was Kansas' third NCAA Championship and fifth overall all-time championship. The Jayhawks' ended their storybook season with a 37-3 all-time record, while Memphis dropped to 38-2. Joining Chalmers on the all-tournament team were Rush, Arthur, Douglas-Roberts and Rose.
1988 National Champions
Manning Leads Jayhawks to One Last Miracle -- an NCAA Title
Kansas 83, Oklahoma 79 · April 4, 1988 · Kansas City, Mo.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Danny Manning scored 31 points -- including four clutch free throws in the closing seconds -- and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead Kansas past Big Eight Conference rival Oklahoma, 83-79, in the 50th anniversary of the NCAA Championship game at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo.
The Jayhawks were considered a "bubble" team before receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Once in, "Danny and the Miracles" overcame many odds to win the title for coach Larry Brown. Manning, the national player of the year and the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament, "was phenomenal, just spectacular," Brown said after the game.
Brown's Jayhawks used two different tempos to keep the Sooners off balance. In the first half, Kansas ran with Oklahoma and the two teams went to the lockerroom tied at 50-50. In the second half, KU went to more of a halfcourt game. In the end, however, it was Manning who carried the Jayhawks, who entered the NCAA Tournament unranked and seeded sixth. With 14 seconds left, Manning converted two free throws to give Kansas an 81-77 lead. After a Ricky Grace lay-in at :07, Manning was fouled and calmly sank two more charities with five ticks left.
Manning's success at the line followed a shaky stretch in which the Jayhawks made just one of five free throw attempts, allowing Oklahoma to slice a 77-71 lead to one, 78-77. The two teams slugged it out all night with neither team taking a sizable lead. Oklahoma, which beat KU twice during the regular season, held its biggest lead of five points with 12:14 left. Kansas led by as many as six points in the first half.
"We didn't panic when we were five down," Brown said. "Our kids believed we could beat them. There's a sense of pride, confidence in our club."
The key run for Kansas came with the score tied 71-71 and with the Jayhawks milking each possession. KU scored six unanswered points when Kevin Pritchard hit a lean-in six-footer, followed by a short Manning jumper and a baseline jumper by Chris Piper. Depth was a factor for Kansas. Ten different Jayhawks saw action, while Oklahoma played just six players. The Jayhawks became the first unranked team and the first team with double-digit losses to win the NCAA championship. Kansas, plagued with injuries all season, finished the year with a 27-11 mark.
1952 National Champions
Jayhawks Capture 1952 NCAA Crown Behind Lovellette's 33 points
Kansas 80, St.John's 63 · March 25, 1952 · Seattle, Wash.
SEATTLE, Wash. - Center Clyde Lovellette was nearly unstoppable, scoring 33 points and grabbing 17 boards, leading Kansas to its first NCAA crown, 80-63, over St. John's in the championship game. Lovellette became the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in scoring and win a NCAA title in the same season -- a feat that has yet to be matched. Lovellette, who canned 12 field goals and nine free throws despite being double-and triple-teamed by the Redmen, was the easy selection for NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors.
Kansas never trailed in the game. Lovellette gave the Jayhawks an early 1-0 lead on a free throw and KU led 18-13 after one quarter.
The Jayhawks led 41-27 at halftime and were never threatened in the second half. Bill Lienhard scored 12 points on five jumpers. He benefitted the most from the St. John's plan to defend Lovellette with multiple players. Bob "Trigger" Kenney also added 12 points. Charlie Hoag, one of KU's great multi-sport athletes, chipped in nine points. Dean Kelley added seven points and was a factor in the rebounding department.
Bill Hougland, plagued with an injured leg, contributed five points and six rebounds. John Keller came off the bench for two points and was credited for his defensive effort. The 1951-52 Jayhawk roster included reserve guard Dean Smith, who went on to become the winningest coach in college basketball history at North Carolina.
The roster also included LaVannes Squires, the first African-American to wear the Crimson and Blue. Kansas finished the year with a 28-3 mark after opening the season with 13 consecutive victories before losing back-to-back games at Kansas State and Oklahoma State. KU went on to play in the U.S. Olympic Playoffs, where it lost to Peoria (Ill.) in the finals.
1923 National Champions
Ackerman, Black, Endacott Lead Jayhawks to Second Straight Title
Kansas 23, Missouri 20 · February 28, 1923 · Lawrence, Kan.
LAWRENCE, Kan. - Early Kansas greats Tus Ackerman, Charlie Black and Paul Endacott led Kansas to a 23-20 win over visiting Missouri, giving the Jayhawks their second national title in as many years.
Helms Foundation national champions and national championship games were not awarded until 1936, when champions were selected retroactively. Kansas went 16-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference and finished 17-1 overall.
1922 National Champions
Helms Foundation Awards KU its First National Title with Win Over Missouri
Kansas 26, Missouri 16 · February 21, 1922 · Columbia, Mo.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Co-captain George Rody scored 12 points and future Hall of Fame member Paul Endacott added six points to lead Kansas past Missouri, 26-16, in Columbia, Mo.
The Helms Foundation crowned the Jayhawks as champions 14 years later in 1936, when national champions and championship games were awarded retroactively. Kansas and Missouri tied for the Missouri Valley title with 15-1 records. KU's 16-2 overall mark, combined with the win over Missouri, earned KU its first national championship.