NCAA Tournament

Kansas-North Carolina preview

WHEN/WHERE:

4:05 p.m. Sunday at the at Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis

• 

TV/RADIO:

CBS (Channels 5, 13); KCSP (610 AM)

P

No.

Kansas

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

C

5

Jeff Withey

7-0

Jr.

9.1

F

0

Thomas Robinson

6-10

Jr.

17.7

G

15

Elijah Johnson

6-4

Jr.

10.0

G

24

Travis Releford

6-6

Jr.

8.4

G

10

Tyshawn Taylor

6-3

Sr.

16.6

• ABOUT KANSAS (30-6):

The Jayhawks survived a late rally by North Carolina State and advanced to its fifth regional final under coach Bill Self with a 60-57 victory. KU is 1-3 in the previous Final Four berth games, with the victory coming over Davidson in 2008. … Kansas opened tournament play this year by beating Detroit and Purdue. … Self is 2-1 all time against Roy Williams, splitting a pair of NCAA games against Williams’ KU teams while at Illinois.

P

No.

North Carolina

Ht.

Yr.

PPG

C

44

Tyler Zeller

7-0

Sr.

16.5

F

31

John Henson

6-11

Jr.

13.8

F

40

Harrison Barnes

6-8

So.

17.2

G

35

Reggie Bullock

6-7

So.

8.9

G

5

Kendall Marshall

6-4

So.

8.1

• ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (32-5):

The Tar Heels got past Ohio University 73-65 in overtime on Friday after easily taking care of Vermont and Creighton in their first two NCAA games. … North Carolina is 18-7 in regional finals and has played in more Final Fours than any program. … This marks the fifth NCAA Tournament meeting between North Carolina and Kansas and the first one that’s not in a Final Four. The NCAA series is 2-2, with the Jayhawks winning the most recent, in the 2008 national semifinals.

Frontcourt

The Tar Heels may be the nation’s most impressive airport team, starting 7-foot Tyler Zeller, 6-11 John Henson and 6-8 Harrison Barnes. Zeller was strong against Ohio with 20 points and 22 rebounds. North Carolina got 63 boards in the game. KU’s Jeff Withey usually defends the more productive big man, but the three bigs are the Heels’ scoring leaders. Withey tied a school record with 10 blocks against North Carolina State, and Thomas Robinson had a monster game of his own with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Does Travis Releford guard Barnes?

Edge >> North Carolina Backcourt

Will Kendall Marshall play? If he does, Marshall will be less than 100 percent effective because of the broken bone in his right (non-shooting) wrist, but even a partial Marshall might be preferred to the alternatives, Stilman White and Justin Watts. Reggie Bullock plays the off-guard position, and at 6-7 he becomes a matchup problem, likely for Elijah Johnson. Kansas guards Johnson, Tyshawn Taylor, Releford and Conner Teahan can’t buy a jumper these days. But the guards have contributed in other ways.

Edge >> Kansas Bench

James Michael McAdoo started when Henson missed a few games late because of his wrist injury and is the most effective Tar Heel off the bench with a 5.8 scoring average. Teahan isn’t hitting his shots, but frontliner Kevin Young has been a spark for KU when he enters the game in the first few minutes. He goes to the boards aggressively and isn’t shy about using his fouls.

Edge >> Kansas Coaching/intangibles

Coaching is a wash. Roy Williams and Bill Self are as good as it gets in the college game. As for incentive, both reached this spot last year and were upset, with the Tar Heels falling to Kentucky and the Jayhawks embarrassed by VCU. North Carolina was shaky without Marshall, but as least it has a game under its belt without the terrific playmaker.

Edge >> Kansas Bottom line
  Comments