Arizona claims title in overtime

INDIANAPOLIS — A box of national champion T-shirts and baseball caps arrived behind Kentucky’s bench with two minutes left in regulation during Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball title game against Arizona. The box vanished with about 14 seconds left in overtime.
The shirts and caps will be destroyed as Arizona beat defending national champion Kentucky, 84-79. Arizona put on shirts and caps of its own, cut down the nets and celebrated its first national title ever.
Arizona, a team nobody even expected to make the Final Four, beat three of the tournament’s No. 1 seeds — Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky — to win the title.
Arizona guard Miles Simon scored 30 points and earned the Final Four Most Valuable Player award. His backcourt teammate Mike Bibby scored 19 points.
“I don’t think this will sink in for a while,” Arizona coach Lute Olson said. “It’s kind of like a dream.”
Simon said the overtime became a matter of who wanted the championship more.
“We played with heart,” he said. “I didn’t want to let my teammates down. They tried to wear us down, and our legs pulled us out in the end.”
Kentucky guard Anthony Epps make a 3-pointer with under 15 second left in regulation to tie the game, 74-74.
Arizona made several free throws in overtime to pull past Kentucky.
Kentucky coach Rick Pitino said fatigue from the Minnesota game did not play a roll in the championship game.
Note: Gophers guard Bobby Jackson was named to the Final Four all-tournament team.
— Todd Zolecki