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Kentucky fends off Kansas for its 8th NCAA tourney title


Mike Miller

Kentucky claimed its eight NCAA tournament title -- and first since 1998 -- thanks to some dynamite defense and a few clutch baskets down the stretch in a 67-59 win against Kansas on Monday night.

The Wildcats even did it with their leading scorer, freshman center Anthony Davis, only scoring six points and missing nine shots. Though he did grab 16 rebounds and block a title-game record six shots, setting the tone for Kentucky’s defense.

It held Kansas to just 37 percent from the floor, including a miserable 11-of-33 performance in the first half that had the Jayhawks behind 41-27.

The Jayhawks (32-6) did make a run in the second half, cutting the Kentucky lead to five with 1:37 left, but too many mistakes prevented them from making another second-half rally during the tournament.

Davis was named Most Outstanding Player for the Wildcats (38-2), who set an NCAA record for wins in a regular season.

It also gave Kentucky coach John Calipari the first national title of his career in his fourth Final Four appearance.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.