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North Carolina at Kansas coverage

Kansas defeats North Carolina, 70-58

  • 4:15 p.m., March 24, 2013
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

Sweet second half! Jayhawks advance to round of 16 with 70-58 win over UNC

By Matt Tait.

If North Carolina had hit a shot in the first half, the Kansas University men's basketball team may have found itself trailing by 20 points or more heading into the second half of its third-round game Sunday evening at Sprint Center.

Instead, the Tar Heels shot just 26.2 percent (11-of-42) and that allowed Kansas, which shot just 7-of-28 for 25 percent, to hang around long enough to unleash a furious second-half rally that propelled the Jayhawks to a convincing 70-58 victory and into the Sweet 16 for the third straight season.

After getting out-hustled and pushed around by Carolina (25-11) in the first half, the Jayhawks responded to a 30-21 halftime deficit with a 16-3 run to open the second that put the Jayhawks up 37-35 with 14:35 to play. From there, KU fed off the momentum of its comeback and a pro-KU crowd and steamrolled North Carolina the rest of the way.

The victory was KU's third in three tries against former Kansas coach Roy Williams in the 10 years since his departure. All three have come in the NCAA Tournament.

For the second straight game, senior center Jeff Withey was simply too much, leading KU with 16 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocks while also delivering a few attitude-changing slam dunks during KU's run to get back into it early in the second half.

KU survived another sub-par game from leading scorer Ben McLemore, who finished with just two points on 0-of-9 shooting (0-6 three-pointers), including a missed alley-oop conversion on the opening possession of the second half. McLemore sat on the bench for most of the final 15 minutes.

Travis Releford (22 points) and Elijah Johnson (five) were both huge during KU's surge to the lead and sophomore guard Naadir Tharpe (12) hit a couple of big three-pointers during the final 10 minutes to keep KU ahead comfortably.

The Jayhawks will head to Arlington, Texas next week to take on Michigan in the Sweet 16.

Here’s a quick look back at some of Sunday's action:

The game turned when: Travis Releford hit a three-pointer with just under 18:00 to play in the second half. The triple cut Carolina's lead to four — 30-26 — but more importantly took the lid off the basket for the Jayhawks from the outside. The three-pointer was KU's first from long distance of the NCAA Tournament and sparked a 33-10 explosion that put the Jayhawks ahead 54-40 with 8:35 to play.

Offensive highlight: There weren't many during the first half, but Jeff Withey's monster dunk after catching a pass from Elijah Johnson while charging down the lane certainly changed the vibe of this one early in the second. The dunk, which sent one UNC defender ducking for cover, pulled KU to within two points, 30-28 at the 17:05 mark of the second half. In 2:55, KU knocked seven points off of Carolina's lead, which was nine at halftime and had reached as many as 11 late in the first half.

Defensive highlight: Jeff Withey officially only had two blocks on the stat sheet at halftime, but he certainly impacted several more and helped keep UNC within arm's reach. One block for which Withey was given credit came at the 8:25 mark of the first half, with KU trailing 14-11. As UNC's Dexter Strickland drove the lane and tried to cross over underneath the hoop, Withey stalked him like a cheetah in the wild and swatted the shot out of bounds before it even had a chance to get above the rim.

Key stat: Second-half field goal percentage. After both teams struggled to hit shots in the first half — KU shot 25 percent and UNC shot 26 — the Jayhawks caught fire and shot 63 percent in the second half (17-of-27). The Tar Heels, meanwhile, stayed ice cold and finished the game at 30 percent.

Up next: The win improved KU to 31-5 on the season and put it into the Sweet 16 for the third straight season. The Jayhawks will face fourth-seeded Michigan next Friday in Dallas.

Box score

Join the post game discussion

Stacy Taylor in reply to Jayhawkinatl


Darin Bradley

If nothing else this team knows how to play from behind. Maybe too well. Could be too much Fake Jeff Withey!

Duane Rice

I hate having to berate BMEC so much but I think the rest of the team might resent him. Self tried to run the hole offense threw him and he's just not ready for it but, in doing so he separated the seniors from him.


UF has had a tendency to wet the bed in the second.

Jayhawkinatl in reply to Lawkan

Go Gophers!!!!!!!!!!!

Jayhawkinatl in reply to Brooksmd

Which doesn't make sense and, thus, makes it funny.


hmm Minnesota making a run at Florida.


Barkley also said "good thing Roy got 700 in the first game cause he wouldn't get it against KU."


Do we know whether Thursday or Friday???

Jim Dickerson

T Rel was a T Rex today

Mom_of_three in reply to Mom_of_three

just repeating what barkley said....

Brian Powell

I just want a rematch against MSU.... amiright??


withey with only 5 blocks....

Brooksmd in reply to Mom_of_three

Love Charles!!

Lindhawk in reply to Jim Roth

Tru dat

Brian Powell

87% bracket on ESPN.. bummed OSU didn't make it farther. Lots of upsets though!

See you at the Michigan game,

Kent Wells in reply to Mom_of_three

That was a win, not a beating.


Jeff was magnificent in the 2nd half.... well, so was everyone.... that was great...

Jayhawkinatl in reply to Lawkan

Come on, FGCU!

Nuleafjhawk in reply to Brian Powell

" I don't feel so bad about you not coming to Chapel Hill now "


Kansas is going to BEAT UNC like they stole something... Charles Barkley, Friday night.


Now, I KNOW we can't be pulling this crap with Michigan.

Jim Roth in reply to Lindhawk

Maybe not exactly the same thing. Fewer turnovers, perhaps.


You know, charles barkley called us winning this game... Kansas is going to be UNC like they stole something...

Kent Wells in reply to Brian Powell

Have a seat.


Mooow!! Like in the Nasty.


Ok everyone do the same thing except for bmac. He needs to score 15 we win it all

Brian Powell

I wonder what Roy said to BMac...

Kent Wells

Robb Kraft

Where's stipidmicahel -- no -- ok i will say it, us against MICH-- I am scared.


Alrighty now. See ya'll next week. Thanks Jesse. RCJHKU!!!


Rio has no plans to pass the ball around. He wants to score.

Duane Rice

The embrace between Roy and Bill gets a little shorter every time.


If they play like they did the second half without the TO's they can beat Mich.


Michigan and Florida just to get to the Final Four. That is awful rough.


49 second half points.....that's how you do it!!!


ROCK CHALK!!!! The tale of two halfs!!!


whatever coach said at half... (and benching ben), just remembe it and do it before the next game....

Darin Bradley

Rock Chalk! Now lets have a GREAT week of practice and figure out these slow starts!!


Good comeback. Great to win #300 in the tourney against NC.

North Carolina 58
Kansas 70

Jesse Newell

KU advances to the Sweet 16 where it will play Michigan.


Rock Chalk!!!!!!!!!!!!







Duane Rice

I really believe that BMEC is the problem with this team. They sure seamed to play as a team as soon as he set him.


Self inserts Self.

Colreader in reply to Robb Kraft


Brian Powell

it's okay. Enterprise is hiring :\


Don't suppose Evan has another growth spurt in him? 6"11" would be nice.


I'm shocked UNC let us run it out.


Niko Time!


What a finish!

Robb Kraft

was this not some 000 win for self at KU?

Jesse Newell

Five pats on the butt for Tharpe from Self as he comes out.

Mom_of_three in reply to Robb Kraft

yep... that 2nd half was magnificient....who is the ref with the hightower moves...



Appleaday in reply to fansincewilt


Jesse Newell

Self hugs Releford as he comes to the sideline.

Jhawk7782 in reply to Mom_of_three

Freely admit to being negative.. And completely fine with being wrong.

Jerry Becker

great way to win #300

Timothy Todd

NC thinks it's over

Robb Kraft in reply to Mom_of_three

well I am still here, but they played like they can 2nd half that is all i ever want.

Jesse Newell

Patented Roy move emptying the bench.


need to get payback on Hardaway and Robinson by beating their kids lol.


For a moment when Roy heard the chant, he thought he had won the game.


This is Self''s 300th ku victory, right?

Jaybate in reply to Ten Yeahs





negative nellies.... where are you???


There's no explanation for the ups and downs of this team.

Robb Kraft

phew, whew.


I changed into my 2008 championship sweatshirt at halftime, so that must be the lucky outfit.

Jesse Newell

UNC is 20-for-70.

Ten Yeahs

Michigan is really good. really talented. really really talented


hopefully Good Friday will be a great Friday.

Matt Lacey

I'm sure Duke and NCSU have already gif'd it

Colreader in reply to Rolland Remmert

Yes------start the Rock Chalk Chant!!!

Darin Bradley

Will need a MUCH better start against Michigan.

Robb Kraft in reply to Brian Powell

withey got ticked off, so yes it was.


The fat lady is getting ready to take the podium

Timothy Todd

And here come the fouls.........


tell me someone got a screengrab of that UNC fan


The Chant!

Dave Cook


Rain in reply to Duane Rice

That look needs to be GIF'd up.

Jesse Newell

UNC with eight second-half turnovers after two in the first half.

Kent Wells in reply to Rolland Remmert

I think Roy should just put on a Jayhawk sticker now.


do we know what day we play yet?

Jhawk7782 in reply to Melrank

Was thinking the exact same thing.

Rolland Remmert

art the chant for Roy....maybe he'll join in

Duane Rice

The look on the NC fan could be priceless


Is it in the bank?


Don't jinx us Marv

Robb Kraft in reply to Lindhawk

shhhhhhhh quiet dont trap up we could have 30 TOs lol

Brian Powell

that elbow to the head was MONEY for Jeff tonight :)




that was just amazing block right there... the block of the year....


what kind of ball handling is that???


If I were other coach I would trap us every time


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