In a head-to-head battle that absolutely lived up to the immense hype, the Kansas Jayhawks edged the North Carolina Tar Heels 80-67 to win the Midwest region and advance to next weekend's Final Four in New Orleans.
The two programs lit up the scoreboard in the opening half, combining for 94 points, but really clamped down after the intermission at the defensive end. North Carolina's 20 second-half points were in stark contrast with the 47 it produced in the first 20 minutes.
Playing without point guard Kendall Marshall, the Heels were forced to use inexperienced freshman Stilman White at the lead guard spot against Kansas' stable of athletic guards. White did manage to set a game-high with seven assists, but was a liability defensively and struggled to get involved as a scorer.
Jayhawks senior Tyshawn Taylor, who continues to grow into a mature leader, led all players with 22 points and also chipped in five rebounds and five assists. One would think that slowing down Taylor will be the first order of business for the Ohio State Buckeyes and defensive stopper Aaron Craft next weekend.
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