Homer's Illiad told the story of the Greek war hero, Achilles. Achilles was a central piece to the Greeks' advances on Troy, revered as the greatest warrior alive. Everyone knows the story, the legends told that Achilles was invulnerable to anything on his body, except his heel. And by legend, Achilles supposedly was killed in battle by an arrow to his heel, thus the phrase "Achilles Heel" came into fruition, and a series of over-usage in society's attempt at wit.
Alas, here I am... using it in the introduction to my blog, but hell... after seeing the Memphis Tigers tank in the final two-minutes of the National Championship Game, there wasnt much else that came to mind. With 2:12 left, Memphis held a nine point lead over the Jayhawks, and in those final few minutes... Memphis made one of five free-throw attempts. First, Chris Douglas-Roberts went to the line, missing both attempts. Then after a rebound off the 2nd miss, Derrick Rose was sent to the line for a one-and-one. He made one-of-two, giving the Jayhawks a breath of life, only down 63-60 with 10.8 seconds to go. After racing up the floor of the Alamo Dome, Sherron Collins managed to hand the ball off to fellow teammate Mario Chalmers while stumbling to the hardwood. Chalmers then proceeded to hit Kansas' third three-point shot of the night from the top of the key, leaving only two seconds remaining for Memphis to avoid overtime.
Of course, their attempt was in vain... and inevitably, Kansas won after going on a six-nothing run to start the overtime period, outscoring the Tigers 12-5 overall. The Jayhawks won their third National Championship tonight, on the back of a 75-68 victory over the winningest team in NCAA history, the 38 and two Memphis Tigers. Kansas can credit the victory to the all-out style they played throughout the game; diving on the floor for every loose ball; snapping their hands into every lane; slamming balls down during drives; crashing the boards; fighting back from adversity, and taking advantage of two key mistakes by Memphis in the waning moments of regulation: Joey Dorsey fouling out and the collective misses from the line by Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts.
It was a great game, maybe even one of the best of the tournament. Both teams scrapped for everything they could, battled back and forth until the very last few seconds of overtime. There was never an instant where a lead was safe, nor were there any lopsidedness on the scoreboard, making for an exhilerating and even gripping game for all 45 minutes. Definitely a phenomenal final game to the NCAAB season.
Tale of the Tape:
REB: 37 27
FG%: 52.7 40.3
FT%: 93.3 63.2
TO: 17 13
Hi-Scorer: D. Arthur (20) C-D-R (22)
Key to the Game: When it comes to points in the paint, Kansas was dominant. And never more were they such than in overtime, when Memphis was without the services of Joey Dorsey. On two occasions, Darrell Arthur was able to produce points, once on his own and another by way of an assist to fellow teammate Darnell Jackson. Kansas at one point was plus-14 on points in the painted area, and never relinquished that strangle hold. And of course... they topped Memphis in the free throw department by a whopping 30.1%.
Congratulations to Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks.