Kansas Tops North Carolina 70-58 on a Strong Second-Half Performance

Rollin YeattsFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 24:  Travis Releford #24 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 24, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In the first half, it looked like we were in for one of the worst displays of shooting in the history of basketball. But Kansas turned it on in the second, giving North Carolina a 70-58 spanking.

The Tar Heels led at the half, but were outscored 49-28 in the second.

Jeff Withey and Travis Releford owned the game. Releford finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Withey had 16 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.

That makes 12 blocks for Withey through just two tourney games.

Naadir Tharpe was also able to drill three big-time treys to help Kansas pull away. He was just 0-for-1 against Western Kentucky.

But one player that wasn't able to come through was freshman Ben McLemore. He was 0-for-9 with just two points. It's pretty impressive that Kansas was able to overcome McLemore's cold streak, but the next thing may be even more astonishing.

Can you guess which team had 23 turnovers? Well, it wasn't UNC.

The Tar Heels only had 11 turnovers, but they were only able to knock down 30.1 percent of their shots, including a 6-of-21 performance from downtown.

The combination of P.J. Hairston, James Michael McAdoo and Reggie Bullock was held to just 31 points. Bullock finished with five points on 1-of-7 shooting.

With the poor shooting of Carolina, Kansas was able to overcome 14 steals, 23 turnovers and a two-point performance from Mclemore. Not many teams can do that. This team looks primed for the big game, and it has a pretty big one coming up.

Kansas will move on to play Michigan in the Sweet 16. I don't imagine that game will be lacking action.