Jayhawks finally return to Final Four with an unlikely cast

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Perhaps that is why Self, as fiery as you'll find during a game but relatively composed everywhere else, was so emotional after the Jayhawks beat Duke in overtime to secure their spot in San Antonio. It just happened to occur six days too soon.

A win over Kansas would break the record that Krzyzewski, 71, shares with UCLA legend John Wooden for national semifinal appearances.

Malik Newman didn't lead a tremendous upset or continue a Cinderella run, but he still put forth a memorable showing against a team that was loaded with NBA-caliber talent.

Some nerves might be at play early in second-seeded Duke's game with No. 1 seed Kansas in the Midwest Region final. Newman missed a long 3-pointer for Kansas but Mykhailiuk's 3 tied it with 25.7 seconds to play.

Grayson Allen very almost won it at the buzzer, but saw his contested, off-balance jumper roll off the backboard, off the rim and out. Malik Newman was 15 years old. He drilled two 3s. McCollum was also shakey from the free throw line and went 10-of-16, but he connected on a bunch down the stretch and orchestrated the offense masterfully.

The Jayhawks will face fellow top seed Villanova on Saturday in San Antonio - the site of KU's last title over Memphis in 2008 - after snapping a two-game skid in the regional finals. In a college basketball season that has gone from Federal Bureau of Investigation to UMBC and an NCAA Tournament full of STHU (Shut The Heck Up), these last five teams of Loyola Chicago, Michigan, Villanova, Kansas and Duke comprise a giddy lot. Duke led 36-33 at halftime.

Villanova is 20 minutes away from its second trip to the Final Four in three seasons.




Don't take your eyes off Duval! For much of it, their mini matches ended in stalemates. Overall, it was an unbelievable, tough, tough team win. Went back left. Their big stepped into help. Once Kansas got the ball into the middle, an open three was nearly guaranteed. The biggest change took place on defense, with the Blue Devils making the midseason switch to a full-time 2-3 zone after the freshman-dominated team had trouble playing Krzyzewski's preferred man-to-man style. There were often delays to Kansas' adjustments. They were thumped by Washington and Arizona State in games that revealed their many flaws. Marvin Bagley III netted 16 points and had 10 rebounds in the loss.

Duke guards Duval and Trent scored 13 and nine points respectively in the first half as the Blue Devils led 36-33 after 20 minutes.

But Newman answered with a triple at the other end out of a timeout.

Kansas' defense is a bit better than advertised, ranking in the top 100 in defensive efficiency and both teams being outside the top 100 in pace of play quickness. The first foul was on Udoka Azubuike, his fifth.

Duval scored 13 first-half points, eclipsing his total from all except one game in the past two months. They traded buckets and free throws.

After Svi's 3-pointer, the 17,579 spectators would have their guts torn apart one more time as Allen's shot circled the rim for a brief eternity in which nobody could tell whether it would drop through the hoop or fall to the floor. One possession later, with 37 seconds remaining and Duke down three, Duval missed a wide open 3 from the corner.

To say the national title will be played on Saturday would be disrespectful to MI and Loyola.

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