NEW ORLEANS -- No one hit a jumper to send the game to overtime, or called a timeout his team didn't have, or put a missed airball in the basket to win the national title.
Sometimes the experts are right and serendipity gets dunked.
Kentucky won its eighth NCAA basketball championship Monday night with a 67-59 victory over Kansas before a crowd of 70,913 at the Superdome.
There are outcomes that leave you chewing your nails. This press release could have been released Sunday night.
The shocker would have been if Lexington had lost.
Victory was almost a relief.
"I'm glad it's done," Kentucky Coach John Calipari said after claiming his first national title. "I don't have to hear he drama. I can just coach now. I don't have to worry."
At least not until the start of camp in October.
Give Kansas credit for keeping viewers tuned in by trimming a seemingly insurmountable lead to five points with 1:37 left.
This wasn't, however, a nightmare flashback to 2008, when Calipari's Memphis team blew a late lead to Kansas and lost the title game in overtime.
Kansas Coach Bill Self called his team together at the under-four-minute timeout and said, "We were down nine with two minutes left in '08, we got plenty of time."
This was finally Calipari's time, though, and all the oddsmakers and watch makers knew it.
Call this victory "Calipari coronation," or vindication for the "one-and-done" meat-market philosophy that espouses chasing today's titles now with tomorrow's NBA players.
Kentucky won by starting three freshmen and two sophomores and, to win another title, will probably have to start from Wildcat scratch.
Kentucky fans might dub this title: "It's about time."
Fourteen years between titles causes them to break out in a rash.
Everyone can now party like it's 1998, the year Tubby Smith led Bluegrass Nation to the championship over Utah.
Kentucky (38-2) did not set out to provide huggable, feel-good moments for anyone outside its inner circle. This was a basketball machine that was built to win, and did.
"That's why we came here," freshman forward Kyle Wiltjer said, "to finally get it done."
Kentucky Beats Kansas, 67-59, for Eighth NCAA Title
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