KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After trailing the North Carolina men’s basketball team (25-11) by nine points at the half, Kansas came storming back in the last 20 minutes to eliminate the Tar Heels 70-58.
Kansas City native Travis Releford led the way with 22 points, 13 of them in the second half, and eight rebounds. But the Jayhawks (31-5) took over the game by controlling the paint in the second half.
Kansas’ 7-foot center Jeff Withey had just four points at halftime and finished the game with 16. He also pulled in 16 rebounds and swatted away five UNC shot attempts.
In the first half, neither team shot the ball particularly well as they were a combined 18-for-70 from the floor. That carried over into the second half for UNC as they shot 36 percent form the floor.
Kansas had better fortune in getting shots to drop. The Jayhawks connected on 63 percent of their shot attempts in the second half and also made five of eight attempts from behind the 3-point line.
Before halftime of Sunday’s game, Kansas had yet to make a 3-pointer in the NCAA Tournament.
P.J. Hairston was the leading scorer for North Carolina with 15 points but he needed 17 shots to get there. James Michael McAdoo, who was largely over matched by Withey, had an even less efficient game scoring 11 points on 19 shots.
With the win, the Jayhawks advance to play Michigan in Dallas Cowboys Stadium in next weekend’s Sweet 16.
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