(4) Louisville 61 (1) Kentucky 69
NEW ORLEANS – Anthony Davis scored 18 points, ripped down 14 rebounds and blocked five shots as Kentucky topped Louisville to advance to Monday’s National Championship. Kentucky led by as many as 13 in the second half, but a 17-4 run by the Cardinals tied the game at 49 with 9:13 to play. The run was capped by a three-pointer from the top of the arc by Peyton Siva. The Wildcats answered with an 11-2 run to go back ahead 60-51 and all, but put Louisville away.
(2) Ohio State 62 (2) Kansas 64
NEW ORLEANS – Kansas trailed for most of the night, but found a way to rally and advance to the national title game for a second time in five years. Kansas trailed by as many as 13 late in the first half; Kansas used a 17-4 run that began late in the first half and carried over to the second half and tied the game 38-38. The Buckeyes answered with the next five points and twice took a six-point-lead after the big Kansas run. A pair of Travis Releford free throws with just under three minutes to play gave the Jayhawks their first lead, but Ohio State would again answer with four straight points.
Down 59-56, Kansas would score six straight points over a 1:01 span to take a 62-59 lead. The Jayhawks looked to have put the game away when Jeff Withey hit a jump-hook with 27 seconds to play, but Withey was called for traveling. After William Buford put back a missed trey from Deshaun Thomas with 9.6 seconds to play, Tyshawn Taylor knocked down two key free throws to put Kansas up 64-61. Taylor would steal the ensuing inbound, but turned the ball over immediately afterward.
Kansas intentionally fouled Ohio State’s Aaron Craft with 2.9 seconds to play. Craft hit the first free throw, but was called for a lane violation after purposely missing the second and the Jayhawks held on for the victory. Thomas Robinson led Kansas with 19 points while Buford also scored 19 to lead Ohio State.
NOTES: Kansas and Kentucky will square off for the National Championship on Monday night. Kansas will be seeking a second championship in five years while Kentucky is in the national title for the first time since 1998, when they defeated Utah. Kentucky coach John Calipari will be coaching in his second National Championship. Calipari led Memphis to the title game in 2008 where the Tigers ironically lost to Kansas in overtime. Tip-off for Monday night is expected to be around 9:23 P.M. EST.