Kansas defeated Western Kentucky on Friday, March 22, 2013, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City to advance to the field of 32 teams to take on North Carolina on Sunday, March 24. The game will be at 4:15 P.M. on CBS.
Kansas defeated No. 16 seed Western Kentucky 64-57 in what was a very lackluster showing from a 1 seed Kansas team. North Carolina defeated Villanova 78-71 to advance.
In defeating Western Kentucky, Kansas won the school’s 2,100th game and became the first school in NCAA history to have won at least 30 game for the fourth straight season (note: Memphis won 30 for four straight seasons from 2006-09 but later vacated the 2008 season).
The win over Western Kentucky was not without its scary moments for Jayhawk faithful. Boasting 0 percent shooting 3 pointers and being outrebounded and committing 17 turnovers, KU proved they could win ugly. In what should have been a slam dunk for a KU team fresh off running through the Big 12 tournament with little opposition, Kansas came out sluggish and unfocused. WKU was in the lead much of the first half while a confused Kansas team was just trying to stay within reach. It looked like Kansas would be able to take a comfortable lead to close out the game with an 11 point lead at the 3:08 mark, but Western Kentucky made key 3 point shots and plays that kept them in the game until the final buzzer.
KU cannot afford to play a game like that against North Carolina. They hit three pointers and Roy Williams plays an up-tempo aggressive game style. Kansas will need to make at least 1 three pointer to stay in the game and won’t be able to rely on defense and for UNC to shoot less than 35 percent from the field. Bill Self needs to find the right buttons to push to get this Kansas team to play hard from tip to final buzzer.
Kansas and North Carolina rank second and third, respectively, in NCAA Division I all-time victories. Kansas is second with 2,100 all-time wins, while North Carolina is next with 2,090. Kentucky is first at 2,111.
Kansas and North Carolina are meeting for the 11th time in men’s basketball with UNC holding a 6-4 series edge. This will be the sixth time the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament. KU has won the last two meetings with both coming in the NCAA Tournament. In last year’s NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional final in St. Louis, KU defeated UNC 80-67 to advance to its 14th Final Four. The previous meeting saw Kansas defeat North Carolina 84-66 in the 2008 NCAA semifinal in San Antonio.
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