Kansas basketball: Five observations from 2008 title game

Sherron Collins #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Sherron Collins #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

After rewatching the 2008 national title game yesterday on CBS, here some observations from Kansas basketball’s win over a decade later.

When we think of Kansas basketball’s 2008 national title win over Memphis, the first thought in everyone’s head is Mario Chalmers‘ game-tying shot to force overtime. Mario’s Miracle is certainly an iconic moment and the biggest shot in the history of Jayhawk basketball, but that wasn’t the only big-time performance from the game.

Now, after rewatching the game for the first time in a long time, here are five more observations from the Jayhawks’ most recent title.

1. Darrell Arthur dominated

Sophomore Darrell Arthur was a beast in the national title game. He led the Jayhawks in scoring with 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting, and he also grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double. For some reason, it’s really easy to forget just how dominant Arthur was, and how he was arguably the best player on the floor for Kansas.

2. The Jayhawks were excellent from the free throw line

When it came down to free throws the Jayhawks made them count. Kansas finished the game 14-of-15 from the line compared to Memphis’ 12-of-19. The missed and made free throws ended up being the difference in the game, helping the Jayhawks to the national title.

3. Kansas’ poise was a huge factor

When Derrick Rose banked in a long two-pointer to put the Tigers up seven with just over four minutes left in the game, it would have been easy for Kansas to quit. Even later on when Memphis went up nine points with just over two minutes left, things seemed hopeless.

As we now know, this team didn’t give up. The played it out, hit their free throws, made some clutch shots, and dominated overtime. Showing that kind of poise down late is something a lot of other teams wouldn’t have been able to do.

4. Chalmers and Collins had some quick hands

Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins combined for seven steals against Memphis. Head coach Bill Self while live-Tweeting the game commented on Chalmers’ defensive skill, comparing him to Marcus Garrett:

5.  Kansas did great guarding Derrick Rose, for the first half

The Jayhawks held eventual NBA MVP Derrick Rose to just three points in the first half. The second half wasn’t so great, with Rose scoring 15. Rose would go on to finish with 18 points, 8 assists, and five turnovers.

Hot. Where the Jayhawks land in early top 25 rankings. light

Kansas basketball fans and basketball fans in general will always remember Mario’s Miracle. It’s an iconic moment, but looking back on the game there were so many other factors that made it possible that are almost forgotten due to the magnitude of Chalmers’ shot.