Is it just me or is everyone else still stunned at the outcome of the NCAA Championship game tonight. I still can't believe that Memphis was unable to win the game with a 9-point lead and 2 minutes to go. It's one of those things where just about everything bad that could happen, happened to Memphis. While, just about everything good that could possibly happen, happened to Kansas.

There were the missed FTs, and I feel extremely bad for Coach Calipari who will never hear the end of it, especially after he kept saying "we'll make the ones that count at the end of the game" to anybody who would hear him. But to me, the strategy to not foul with a 3-point lead was the one that I take away as the one simple thing Memphis could have done to secure the win.

For Memphis and dribble drive motion fans, this isn't easy to watch. For Kansas and Bill Self fans, you'll probably replay it over and over,

I watched the post-game interview between Sam Ryan and John Calipari outside the locker room after the game. Despite Coach Cal saying they had intended to foul and that the refs just didn't call the foul, I think it's clear from looking at the video that there was no strategy to foul. In fact, Rose has his hands in the air trying to avoid Collins who is already falling down by his own mis-steps,

After Collins hands the ball off to Chalmers (barely), both #5 Anderson and #23 Rose do not make any attempt to foul Chalmers either right away or anytime after. This despite 5.1 seconds still on the clock,

Before the season started, I wrote about this exact situation. Do you foul if you have a 3-point lead? Last year, Xavier had a 3-point lead with 9 seconds to go and Ohio St. hit the game-tying 3-pointer. It seems every year it comes up again and again, I would've thought it would be standard operating procedure by now to foul. In my coaching experience, I've always believed in fouling with anything 10 seconds or less full-court, you foul the ball-handler as soon as the ball reaches half, which should take 3-4 seconds off the clock. Anything under 5 seconds anywhere on the court with a 3-point lead should be an automatic foul on inbounds.


Kansas is well-deserving of the National Championship. But you get the sense that Memphis lost it much more so than Kansas won it. I've won games like that before coming from behind and I had an almost embarrassed feeling. Memphis played so well in the second half breaking down all the different defensive looks Self threw at them. Until the dreaded FTs... Well, it was a game for the ages and I'm sure we'll be discussing it for many many months and years to come.

Free throws got you singing the blues? Take a look at Ed Palubinskas's DVD on Becoming a Great Shooter. Coach Palubinskas has worked with professionals such as Lisa Leslie, Shaquille O'Neal and recently Lauren Jackson. To discuss this and many more of your favorite basketball topics, head over to the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk with other coaches from around the world.