INDIANAPOLIS -- About 6 p.m. yesterday, a rainbow formed over the Hoosier Dome here. For Duke and Kansas, the two survivors in this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, the symbolism couldn't be more appropriate.
Both the Blue Devils and the Jayhawks needed more than a little luck to advance to tonight's championship game (9 o'clock, Channel 11).
Duke (31-7) pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament, knocking off defending champion Nevada-Las Vegas, 79-77, and ending the Runnin' Rebels' 45-game winning streak.
Kansas (27-7) held off a furious second-half charge by North Carolina to win, 79-73, in Saturday's other semifinal.
"The fact is both Kansas and Duke played very tough games," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. "It will be tough for both teams to get back to that level. You need to be as prepared mentally and physically for the second game as you can."
Both Duke and Kansas are full of college basketball tradition. Both schools are making their ninth Final Four appearance. The Jayhawks have won two national championships, the most recent in 1988, when they defeated Oklahoma, 83-79. Roy Williams took over for coach Larry Brown in 1988-89 and has a 76-24 record with the Jayhawks.
The Blue Devils are making their fifth appearance in the Final Four in the last six years, though they've never won it all. Krzyzewski has a 262-108 record in 11 years at Duke.