Kansas Run Ends with Loss to Michigan in Sweet 16

March 29, 2013

Postgame Notes | Final Stats |

ARLINGTON, Texas – Kansas center Jeff Withey did what no player seemed to be able to do in the game’s waning minutes – stop Michigan guard Trey Burke. Withey finished one short of tying the career record for blocks in the NCAA Tournament and gave Kansas an attempt at tying the game in overtime but a floater from Naadir Tharpe didn’t fall and the Wolverines completed a furious comeback to top the Jayhawks, 87-85, Friday night inside Cowboys Stadium.

Withey swatted a Burke lay-up with 11 seconds remaining in overtime and gave Kansas (31-6) a chance after giving up a 14-point second half lead, but the Jayhawks couldn’t capitalize or overcome Burke’s play down the stretch. Burke scored eight of his 23 points in the final 1:22 of regulation, including a game-tying three-pointer with four seconds remaining, and Michigan outscored Kansas 11-9 in overtime to advance to the NCAA Tournament South Region Final on Sunday.

Each team saw five players reach double figures with Michigan’s Mitch McGary leading the way at 25 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. In addition, Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III added 13 points, Nik Stauskas scored 11 and Tim Hardaway, Jr., had 10. Burke added 10 assists to record a double-double.

For Kansas, Ben McLemore poured in 20 points and was joined in double figures by Travis Releford (16), Elijah Johnson (13), Withey (12) and Kevin Young (12). Withey led the Jayhawks with eight rebounds and blocked five shots to close his career with 311 and set the KU single-season bar at 146.

Kansas led for the majority of the game, including its first halftime lead of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, as the Jayhawks came out shooting 67.9 percent in the game’s first 20 minutes. The first half shooting tally was KU’s second-best of the season and the Jayhawks pushed their 40-34 halftime advantage to as many as 14 with 6:50 to play in the second half.

That’s when Burke started and ended a 20-8 Michigan run to close the gap and regulation. Kansas had a look at the end of regulation but an on-line Tharpe three hit the front of the rim.

Burke scored Michigan’s first five points in overtime as each team jockeyed for the lead, but back-to-back buckets by McGary and a pair of free throws put the Wolverines in control, 87-82, and KU in chase mode. Johnson hit a three to pull Kansas within two and the Withey block opened the door for a tying bucket. Johnson drove to the basket on the final possession, but kicked out to Tharpe who couldn’t convert a tough floater.

Michigan will play the winner of the match-up between Florida and Florida Gulf Coast, which was being played late Friday night, for a chance to advance to Atlanta for the Final Four.

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