Kansas basketball on mission heading into national championship

NEW ORLEANS – Before Villanova jogged onto a basketball court laid down inside a football stadium, the Wildcats gathered in a tunnel outside their temporary locker room. Blocked off by security guards, they huddled close and took turns screaming. Let’s f —— go! We know what this s is! Stay together! Believe! They turned and headed out, together, hearts full of determination and resolve, ready to seize a game few thought they had a chance to win.

Were this an underdog sports movie, the scene would have made for a good open, or climax. But this was not an underdog sports movie. This was Kansas, mighty Kansas, a deeper team with more experience, more NBA prospects, better statistics — higher averages of just about everything; points, rebounds, blocks, steals, assists— and, notably, better health. As if anyone needed a reminder, television cameras zoomed in on Jay Wright, the Villanova coach, comforting Justin Moore, his injured guard, as the starting lineups were announced on Saturday without Moore in his usual slot.

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