NEW ORLEANS -- Former St. Patrick star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist helped Kentucky oust Kansas, 67-59, in the NCAA national championship game on Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Kidd-Gilchrist, who appeared on the cover of MSG Varsity The Magazine last winter, scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds as the Wildcats claimed their first title since 1998.
The 6-foot-7 freshman small forward was caught in foul trouble for much of Saturday's 69-61 triumph over Louisville in the first Final Four game, but he scored all nine of his points down the stretch at crucial moments. He then followed up with a solid performance on college basketball's biggest stage.
The Somerdale native had spent the year proving to be a great sidekick to Naismith Player of the Year and fellow freshman, big-man Anthony Davis. Kidd-Gilchrist came into what could've been his final college game averaging 11.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and two assists. He is undecided about entering the 2012 NBA Draft.
Kidd-Gilchrist was a standout player for former National Coach of the Year award-winner Kevin Boyle at St. Patrick. He helped the Celtics to a Tournament of Champions title as a sophomore in 2009 and was a three-time All-American.
In 2010-11, he was listed among the top three recruits in the nation and guided St. Patrick through a rollercoaster campaign that saw it spend many weeks atop the USA Today national poll.
The Celtics and Kidd-Gilchrist could not complete the dream run, though, as they suffered a loss to then-No. 2 St. Anthony in the North Non-Public B title game -- and mythical national championship tilt -- at the RAC last March 9 in front of a crowd of nearly 9,000.
Kidd-Gilchrist is also featured in the HBO documentary, "Prayer for a Perfect Season" and a recently published book, Celtic Pride.
Contact Brian Fitzsimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @FitzWriter
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