Final Four National Semifinal: (2) Kansas 64 – (2) Ohio State 62

04/01/2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA – With Butler not competing in the national championship game for the first time in three years, it’s finally time for some of the little guys to have their shot at glory.

Down by as many as 13 points in the first half, the resilient Kansas Jayhawks battled all the way back to defeat Ohio State in a thrilling nightcap at the Final Four, 64-62.  Kansas advances to play Kentucky in the national championship game on Monday, with the Jayhawks seeking their second crown in five years.

Monday night’s game will also be a head coaching rematch of the 2008 title game between John Calipari and Bill Self.  Calipari was then the head coach at Memphis, and endured a heartbreaking, overtime loss to the Jayhawks when his Tigers team failed to hold a second-half lead, in part due to poor free throw shooting down the stretch.

Four Jayhawks scored in double-figures, led by a 19-point, 8-rebound effort by Thomas Robinson, with Elijah Johnson recording a double-double by scoring 13 points and hauling down 10 rebounds.  Jared Sullinger also posted a double-double for Ohio State, with 13 points and 11 boards, while William Buford added 19 points and 7 rebounds.  Like Kansas, Ohio State also put four players in double-figures, in a game which came down to the final seconds.

After trailing by 9 points at the half, the Jayhawks completely turned things around in the second half, slowly chipping away at the Buckeyes’ advantage before finally taking the lead for good with 2:48 left in regulation, and ended the game on a 15-7 run.

Kevin Kugler, Bill Raftery, and John Thompson called the action on the Westwood One Radio Network.

(Sullinger gets OSU off to a quick start)

(Buford’s trey extends the Buckeye lead to six)

(Thomas’ lay-in gives Ohio State a commanding 26-13 lead)

(Releford’s buzzer-beating layup gives Kansas some momentum heading into the half)

(Johnson puts home a pair as the Jayhawks fight back to tie the game at 38)

(Craft buries a three as OSU quickly goes back on top)

(Buford with a breakaway dunk as the Buckeyes take a late five-point lead)

(Kansas caps off a big run with Johnson’s layup to take a three-point lead)

(OSU’s last-gasp effort falls short, as Kansas is headed to the national title game)

(Post-game interview with Kansas head coach Bill Self)

(Post-game interview with Kansas’ Elijah Johnson)

(Final Four wrap-up from New Orleans)

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