The Kentucky Wildcats won the eighth national title in school history, and John Calipari won the first of his coaching career with a 67-59 win over the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2012 NCAA Championship Game on Monday night. Anthony Davis was held in check offensively, but dominated everywhere else. He finished with 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists, three steals and six points on his way to earning MVP honors for the game.
The Wildcats led by double digits until the 4:17 mark of the second half, when a Tyshawn Taylor and-1 brought the Jayhawks to within nine. The play was part of an 8-0 run that finished with Kentucky up just seven points and suddenly in a competitive ball game. The Jayhawks pulled within five points with 1:37 to go, and had a chance to bring the game to within one possession but turned the ball over. Forced to the line, Kentucky made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the game.
Taylor played valiantly late, making his first 3-pointer of the tournament to finish with 19 points. Thomas Robinson scored 18, but went just 6-for-17 from the field. He did haul in 17 rebounds, however, in a very competitive battle with Davis in the paint. Jeff Withey added four blocked shots and seven rebounds to go with five points.
Kentucky was simply too deep. Doron Lamb led all players with 22 points, and Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 14 and 11, respectively. The Wildcats finished with 11 blocked shots to five for the Jayhawks. Kentucky also won the rebounding battle 39 to 34. Kansas shot just 35.5 percent from the floor, held in check by an incredibly impressive defensive performance.
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