by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
Kansas was able to take advantage of a North Carolina squad that was without Kendall Marshall to win 80-67 and advance to the Final Four. This is the furthest Kansas has advanced since winning the national title in 2008.
Much was made of North Carolina’s starting five heading into the season, but it was the Jayhawks who had all their starters score in double figures on Sunday. Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, who had struggled for much of the tournament, finished with a game-high 22 points. He had scored a total of 26 points in his previous three games.
North Carolina stayed with Kansas for most of the game but not having Marshall showed down the stretch for the Tar Heels. Stillman White, who started in place of Marshall, had just four points and missed two crucial shots late.
It was hard for head coach Roy Williams to come to terms with the loss.
“There’s no way to put into words the way we feel,” Williams said. “There’s no way to put into words the way I feel. … It’s the NCAA tournament. One team wins and one team loses, and that’s what we have to understand.”
Kansas will now face Ohio State in the Final Four. The Jayhawks defeated the Buckeyes, 78-67, on Dec. 10, but Jared Sullinger did not play in the game.