Who won the ncaa basketball championship in 2022? NEW ORLEANS — The No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks (34-6) were crowned the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion after defeating the No. 8 seed North Carolina Tar Heels Monday night at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans
The Jayhawks’ 72-69 victory over the Tar Heels was thanks to a valiant second-half comeback effort. Kansas entered the locker room down 40-25 at the half then outscored UNC 47-29 in the second half. The comeback marked the largest ever recorded in a men’s national championship game.
“This team has been down before,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “I told them at halftime: ‘Would you rather be down 15 with 20 left or down 9 with 2 left?’ Because that was obviously what happened in 2008. They all said, ‘let’s take 15.’ So we played off of that.”
Kansas was led by forward David McCormack who posted 15 points and 10 rebounds. Following the game, McCormack said that he knew a second-half comeback was possible.
“I was smiling to my teammates [at halftime], they thought I was crazy,” McCormack said.
Guard Christian Braun also recorded double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Forward Jalen Wilson added 15 points and guard Ochai Agbaji added 12.
Monday’s win brings the Jayhawks’ national trophy tally to four. It also marks Self’s second championship game victory, making him the first coach in program history to claim multiple national titles.
Loser: The Quest for the Perfect Bracket
When the dust settled on a wild opening day of the 2022 NCAA tournament that saw No. 15 Saint Peter’s upset No. 2 Kentucky, along with upset wins by No. 12 seeds New Mexico State (over UConn) and Richmond (over Iowa), there were only 192 perfect brackets remaining across NCAA.com, ESPN, CBS and Yahoo bracket pools.
By the time No. 11 seed Iowa State upset No. 6 LSU on Friday night, that number was officially whittled to zero.
It was the second year in a row no bracket survived the opening round, and as the gap continues to close between blue bloods and mid-major upstarts, it becomes less and less likely we’ll ever see someone hit the perfect bracket.
We’ll all be filled with that same hope when the first game tips off on Thursday morning next year, though, and that’s the beauty of March Madness.
Winner: A Double-Overtime Thriller in the First Four
The Duke vs. North Carolina matchup in the Final Four will likely be the game everyone remembers from the 2022 NCAA tournament, but the best game of this year’s tournament happened during the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.
In the final play-in game on Wednesday night, Rutgers and Notre Dame faced off for the chance at an opening-round matchup with No. 6 seed Alabama.
It took two overtimes to decide a winner, with Notre Dame’s Paul Atkinson Jr. putting in the game-winning putback with two seconds left to give the Fighting Irish an 89-87 victory.
Rutgers had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, there were 10 points scored in the final minute of the first overtime, and Ron Harper Jr. hit a huge game-tying three-pointer with 23 seconds to go in the second overtime before Notre Dame came away with the victory.
The Fighting Irish went on to upset Alabama in the opening round before falling to Texas Tech in the second round, proving they belonged in the field from the start.
Loser: A Dud from Potential No. 1 Overall Pick Jabari Smith
Jabari Smith has all the tools to be a star at the NBA level, with an athletic 6’10” frame, an offensive game that stretches to the perimeter where he shot 42.0 percent from three-point range, and the length to be an impact player on the defensive end.
However, his standout freshman season ended with a thud when he was held to 10 points on 3-of-16 shooting in the Tigers’ second-round loss to No. 10 seed Miami. The pesky Hurricanes defense kept him uncomfortable from the opening tip.
“I had some looks that just didn’t fall, but credit to them, just making them tough,” Smith told reporters. “Keeping bodies on me, being physical with me, sending two people. They defended well as a team.”
The consensus remains that Smith will be a top-three pick in the 2022 NBA draft, alongside Duke’s Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, but he might have locked up the No. 1 spot with a strong March Madness run.
Instead, his college career likely ends with a sour taste in his mouth as the Tigers failed to survive the opening weekend.
Winner: Mid-Major Stars Teddy Allen and Tanner Holden
Every year, there are at least a couple of mid-major stars who take full advantage of the bright lights and put on a show during March Madness.
This year, it was Wright State guard Tanner Holden and New Mexico State forward Teddy Allen.
An All-Horizon League selection, Holden averaged 20.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game during his junior season for a Wright State team that snuck into the NCAA tournament as the No. 4 seed in the Horizon League tournament.
He outplayed Bryant’s Peter Kiss, the nation’s leading scorer, in one of the First Four games when he poured in 37 points on 11-of-15 shooting. He followed that up with 12 points against No. 1 seed Arizona in the opening round, and after entering the transfer portal, he has landed at Ohio State where he will likely step into a starting role with the Buckeyes.
No stranger to the transfer portal himself, Allen began his college career at West Virginia before spending time at Western Nebraska Community College, Nebraska and finally New Mexico State.
The 6’6″ junior won WAC Player of the Year behind 19.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for a 27-7 Aggies team.
He scored 37 points in an upset win over No. 5 seed UConn in the opening round to make his mark on the 2022 tournament, and he added 12 points, four rebounds and one steal in the team’s second-round loss to Arkansas. He has already declared for the 2022 NBA draft.
Loser: Big Ten and SEC Teams
The Big Ten crashed and burned in the 2021 NCAA tournament, with No. 2 seed Ohio State and No. 4 seed Purdue both losing in the opening round, while No. 1 seed Illinois and No. 2 seed Iowa failed to survive their second-round opponent.
It was more of the same this year.
Despite leading all conferences with nine NCAA tournament bids, only No. 3 seed Purdue and No. 11 seed Michigan managed to reach the Sweet 16, and they were both promptly sent packing before the field was whittled to the Elite Eight.
However, the bigger black eye this year might belong to the SEC.
While No. 4 seed Arkansas did reach the Elite Eight, No. 2 seed Kentucky, No. 6 seed LSU and No. 6 seed Alabama were all upset in the first round. That was followed by No. 2 Auburn and No. 3 Tennessee both losing in the second round, blowing up plenty of brackets along the way.
All year, teams struggled to win away from home in the SEC, and sure enough that narrative held true during March Madness.
Winner: The Saint Peter’s Cinderella Story
We’ve never seen a Cinderella run quite like that of the Saint Peter’s Peacocks.
From the onset of their opening game against No. 2 seed Kentucky, they seemed completely unfazed by facing off against one of the sport’s blue bloods, and their relentless defensive intensity that earned them the No. 25 spot in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency this year proved to be their golden ticket.
After shocking the Wildcats in overtime, they beat No. 7 seed Murray State by 10 points to advance to the Sweet 16 and then became the first No. 15 seed to ever reach the Elite Eight when they squeaked out a 67-64 win against No. 3 seed Purdue.
The Cinderella run came to an end with a 20-point loss to North Carolina in the Elite Eight, but their run won’t soon be forgotten.
Three-point shooter Doug Edert and his glorious mustache got an NIL deal from Buffalo Wild Wings, head coach Shaheen Holloway landed the head coaching job at his alma mater Seton Hall, and now everyone knows that Saint Peter’s University is in New Jersey.
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