Kansas pulled off the biggest comeback in the history of NCAA National Championship games, recovering from a 16-point deficit to defeat North Carolina 72-69.

Kansas last won the National Championship in 2008, finishing runners-up in 2012 and making the Final Four again in 2018, while it was North Carolina's fourth title game appearance since 2008, winning titles in 2009 and 2017 and finishing runners-up in 2016.

Despite being considered two of college basketball's premier programs, Kansas was the much better side this season, entering March Madness as a one seed while North Carolina was an eight seed.

However, the Tar Heels were not interested in the script, and after a back-and-forth start, the first half belonged to North Carolina as cult hero Brady Manek splashed three triples on the way to a 40-25 half-time advantage.

But the Jayhawks had faced adversity earlier in the tournament and stuck to the task, storming back to begin the second half as Christian Braun and Jalen Wilson ignited a 20-6 Kansas run to pull the margin back to one at 46-45.

Remy Martin was a crucial spark off the bench for Kansas, chipping in with 14 points on five-of-nine shooting, but it was center David McCormack who rose to the occasion down the stretch.

Trailing 68-69 with less than 90 seconds to play, McCormack hit two consecutive contested hook-shots out of the post to deliver the final winning margin.

Mike Krzyzewski deflected attention away from the final game of his 42-year Duke career and thanked his players for reminding him why he will miss basketball despite a Final Four defeat to rivals North Carolina.

'Coach K' was bidding for a sixth NCAA Tournament championship in the last season of his legendary career but fell at the penultimate hurdle.

UNC had beaten Duke in Krzyzewski's final home game and repeated the feat on Saturday in an 81-77 upset of the second seeds.

Remarkably, it was the Tar Heels' 50th win against Krzyzewski's Duke, levelling the 100-game series in its final edition.

Krzyzewski was understandably the centre of attention after the game but sought to instead put his players in the spotlight, insisting: "I'm not thinking about my career right now."

He said: "It's not about me, especially right now. As a coach, I'm just concerned about these guys. I mean, they're already crying on the court, and that's the only thing you can think about.

"Then going into the locker room, I've said my entire career – or when I knew what the hell I was doing – that I wanted my seasons to end where my team was either crying tears of joy or tears of sorrow because then you knew that they gave everything.

"And I had a locker room filled with guys who were crying, and it's a beautiful sight. It's not the sight that I would want – I'd want the other – but it's a sight that I really respect and makes me understand just how good this group was."

It was Duke's seventh loss of the season, all against unranked teams, making the Blue Devils the first top-10 team to lose to seven unranked opponents in a season since the poll was expanded to 25 teams in 1989-90.

But Krzyzewski added: "They did not win tonight, but they came through in an unbelievable fashion."

Indeed, reflection on his feelings after the game was the closest Krzyzewski came to considering the end of his career in front of the media.

"I'll be fine. I've been blessed to be in the arena," he said. "And when you're in the arena, you're either going to come out feeling great or you're going to feel agony, but you always will feel great about being in the arena.

"And I'm sure that that's the thing when I'll look back that I'll miss. I won't be in the arena anymore. But, damn, I was in the arena for a long time. And these kids made my last time in the arena an amazing one."

Predicted lottery pick Paolo Banchero tried his best to extend his coach's career, scoring 20 points and claiming 10 rebounds.

"Being able to go to war with Coach and the team for the whole season, he was so committed to us all year," Banchero said.

"He never made it about him. And you're just proud that we were able to go out and fight, be in a fight with Coach every game.

"You don't get time to think about it right now, but I'm sure, when we look back on it, we're going to be proud that we got to play for him. And he had our back the whole year, had our back every game, put a lot of trust in us, always believed in us."

Mike Krzyzewski's extraordinary 42-year run as Duke head coach came to an end on Saturday, as North Carolina emerged 81-77 victors in the Final Four.

Of all teams, the arch rival Tar Heels were the team to deny Coach K a fairytale finish, just a month after they spoiled the party for his final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Meanwhile, UNC head coach Hubert Davis became the fifth head coach to make the national title game in his first year.

The closing exchanges made for a thrilling finish, with North Carolina and Duke trading three-pointers and scoring runs in the final five minutes of the game.

Caleb Love's clutch three and conversion of three free-throws gave North Carolina the ultimate breathing room, and he finished with 28 points. Meanwhile, Brady Manek's timely buckets for 14 points and Armando Bacot's 21 rebounds were critical.

Despite the clutch baskets at the end and Paolo Banchero's double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, Duke were ice cold from beyond the arc, going five-of-22.

UNC will meet Kansas in the national title game on Sunday, after they rolled to an 81-65 victory over Villanova earlier on Saturday.

David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji were pivotal for the Jayhawks, with David McCormack putting up 25 points and nine rebounds, while Agbaji drained six-three pointers to score 21 points.

Playing without injured guard Justin Moore, the Wildcats were not able to find an early rhythm as Kansas shot out the gate, scoring the opening 10 points of the game and building a 19-point buffer at one stage in the first half.

It was an eerie role reversal of the 2018 national semi-final, where Villanova raced to a 22-4 opening lead on their way to a 95-79 win over Kansas and eventually their third national title.

Kansas were shooting far too well to let it happen a second time, however, making 29 of 54 total field goals and going 13-of-24 from the perimeter.

Mike Krzyzewski's extraordinary 42-year run as Duke head coach came to an end on Saturday, as North Carolina emerged 81-77 victors in the Final Four.

Of all teams, the arch rival Tar Heels were the team to deny Coach K a fairytale finish, just a month after they spoiled the party for his final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Meanwhile, UNC head coach Hubert Davis became the fifth head coach to make the national title game in his first year.

The closing exchanges made for a thrilling finish, with North Carolina and Duke trading three-pointers and scoring runs in the final five minutes of the game.

Caleb Love's clutch three and conversion of three free-throws gave North Carolina the ultimate breathing room, and he finished with 28 points. Meanwhile, Brady Manek's timely buckets for 14 points and Armando Bacot's 21 rebounds were critical.

Despite the clutch baskets at the end and Paolo Banchero's double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, Duke were ice cold from beyond the arc, going five-of-22.

UNC will meet Kansas in the national title game on Sunday, after they rolled to an 81-65 victory over Villanova earlier on Saturday.

David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji were pivotal for the Jayhawks, with David McCormack putting up 25 points and nine rebounds, while Agbaji drained six-three pointers to score 21 points.

Playing without injured guard Justin Moore, the Wildcats were not able to find an early rhythm as Kansas shot out the gate, scoring the opening 10 points of the game and building a 19-point buffer at one stage in the first half.

It was an eerie role reversal of the 2018 national semi-final, where Villanova raced to a 22-4 opening lead on their way to a 95-79 win over Kansas and eventually their third national title.

Kansas were shooting far too well to let it happen a second time, however, making 29 of 54 total field goals and going 13-of-24 from the perimeter.

North Carolina have set up a tantalising Final Four matchup with historic rivals Duke after ending the 'Cinderella' run of the 15-seed Saint Peter's Peacocks.

The Peacocks assumed the role of this year's loveable underdogs of March Madness when they became the first 15 seed to make it through to the Elite Eight, but they were no match for North Carolina, going down 69-49 in a game that was never close.

Armando Bacot was the star of the show for the Tar Heels, finishing with 20 points on eight-of-15 shooting to go with a monstrous 22 rebounds.

With the win, North Carolina booked their spot against Duke in the Final Four as Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski searches for his sixth national title in his 42nd and final year in charge.

One of the fiercest rivalries in American sports, North Carolina and Duke have played 256 times since their first meeting in 1920, but incredibly have never met in the NCAA Tournament.

Earlier in the day, it was a tale of two halves as one-seed Kansas took on 10-seed Miami, with the higher-ranked Jayhawks struggling out of the gate to trail 35-29 at half-time.

Kansas shot zero-for-five from long range and three-for-nine from the free throw line in the first half but flipped a switch in the second half, showing why they are considered one of the favourites to win the tournament.

The second half was total domination, out-scoring the Hurricanes 47-15 in the 20 minutes to pull away for an easy 76-50 win.

The top performance in the game came from the top NBA prospect, Kansas' Ochai Agbaji, who finished with 18 points on eight-of-12 shooting, including two-from-two from long range. He also registered five rebounds, four assists and four steals as he continues to build his case as a potential lottery pick in this year's NBA Draft.

The Saint Peter's dream run continued on Friday, after they defeated third-seeded Purdue 67-64 on Friday.

The Peacocks thrived off a home-court advantage at the Wells Fargo Center to become the first 15th seed to reach the Elite Eight, despite the late efforts of NBA lottery prospect Jaden Ivey.

Despite hitting on none of his opening five attempts from the perimeter, Ivey connected on an NBA-range triple with eight seconds left to bring Purdue within a point. Doug Edert calmly made his free-throws to ice the game, and put Saint Peter's on the brink of the Final Four.

They will face North Carolina who defeated UCLA 73-66, led by 30 points from Caleb Love.

Despite shooting 10-of-31 from the three-point line for the night, the six-time national champions overcame a three-point deficit to put up 45 points in the second half.

Elsewhere, Remy Martin scored a season-high 23 points as Kansas hung on for a 66-61 win over Providence, securing their passage to the Elite Eight.

The Jayhawks are the only first seed left in the tournament, after both Gonzaga and Arizona were defeated in the Sweet 16 on Thursday, and Baylor's title defence was ended in the second round.

Kansas will face the Miami Hurricanes, who progressed with their comfortable 70-56 win over Iowa State.

Last year's NCAA Tournament champion Baylor Bears have been eliminated in spectacular circumstances in their March Madness matchup against North Carolina.

Baylor, which boasts two likely first round picks in this year's NBA draft in Jeremy Sochan and Kendall Brown, looked dead in the water with 10 minutes to play, trailing 67-42.

From that point on it was like a scene from a movie, as the Bears could not miss, while the Tar Heels committed silly mistakes as the pressure mounted.

Trailing by six points with 35 seconds on the clock, Baylor's Sochan hit a three, before North Carolina missed both free throws, allowing James Akinjo to tie the game with a three-point play to force overtime.

Against all momentum, North Carolina steadied in the overtime period, winning it 13-6 to ultimately prevail 93-86.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams is retiring from college basketball, the university announced on Thursday.

Williams is a legendary figure in college basketball following spells with Kansas and North Carolina; he has coached 52 players who have gone on to play in the NBA.

Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007, he retires with a career record of 903–264, winning the NCAA title on three occasions with the Tar Heels, in 2005, 2009 and 2017.

Williams holds two records in the NCAA: he became the fastest to reach 900 victories and is the only head coach to record over 400 wins with two different schools.

His teams have won 18 regular-season conference championships, while he bows out with an impressive 77.4 win percentage.

The 70-year-old's 33rd and final season as a head coach came to an end when North Carolina lost to Wisconsin in the first round of this year's NCAA tournament.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.