Final - OT
  for this game

Memphis, Kansas meet for national title

Apr 7, 2008 - 3:25 PM By Matt Santillo PA SportsTicker College Basketball Editor

No. 1 Memphis (38-1) vs. No. 1 Kansas (36-3) 9:21 pm EDT

SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- If Chris Douglas-Roberts and freshman Derrick Rose can keep the good times rolling, Memphis will go home with the ultimate prize.

The Tigers will look to their stellar guards to carry them to their first national championship when they face Kansas in the title game of the NCAA Tournament on Monday.

There has been no real surprise how Memphis has advanced to its first national title game since 1973, riding the scoring of Douglas-Roberts and Rose. The duo have combined for 151 points over their last three games, wins over Michigan State, Texas and UCLA.

In Saturday's 78-63 victory over the Bruins in the national semifinals, Douglas-Roberts scored 28 points and Rose added 25 as the Tigers (38-1) became the first team in NCAA history to win 38 games in a season.

It was an impressive showing by the duo, who got nearly whatever shot they wanted against normally rugged UCLA.

"They're fabulous athletes," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Derrick has a gear that very few have, if any. And to be that big and that powerful at a young age, he can go from head of the circle to head of the circle in two bounces.

"Chris is shooting the ball much better from the perimeter this year, statistics show. And because of that people can now crowd him. When you crowd him, he's very good at getting his shoulders past you."

So far, there has not been much that has slowed down the two guards, although Rose was more than just a bit under the weather on Sunday.

Complaining of an upset stomach, Rose missed Sunday's pregame interview session with the media. According to the Memphis sports information department, the freshman point guard will be ready to play against the Jayhawks.

Kansas (36-3) advanced to the title game on the 20th anniversary of its last title, when Danny Manning led it to a stunning upset of Oklahoma.

The Jayhawks are back into the national title game for the second time in six seasons after an 84-66 victory over North Carolina on Saturday.

Kansas had an explosive first half against the Tar Heels, going on an 18-0 run and taking a 28-point lead before the break. Although the cushion was eventually trimmed to just four, the Jayhawks surged again.

Brandon Rush, who probably would have left school if not for a torn ACL last May, scored 25 points for Kansas, which shot 53 percent and topped North Carolina on the boards, 39-32.

Along with their impressive offensive showing, the Jayhawks starred on defense, holding the Tar Heels to 36 percent shooting and forcing 18 turnovers, 10 on steals.

"I was very impressed," Douglas-Roberts said. "They're similar to us. They have great guards. They have a great inside presence.

"So it's definitely going to be a challenge. It's going to be a great game because it's so evenly matched."

Overall, Kansas owns a 3-2 record in the overall series with Memphis, although the teams last met in 1987.