On Friday night in Arlington, Texas, the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks and fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines squared off. Michigan thanks to a broken play finished off the Jayhawks run, with an 87-85 win. Trey Burke scored 23 points, while forward Mitch McGary totaled 25 points.
Ben McLemore led a balanced effort for the Jayhawks with 20 points, while Releford added 16 points. Elijah Johnson scored 13 points, with Jeff Withey and Kevin Young scoring 12 points each.
Michigan improved to 29-7 on the season, while Kansas finished with a 31-6 mark.
The Wolverines stole control in the overtime as McGary hit a couple of jumpers, putting the team up 85-82. From there, Glenn Robinson III added two free throws, giving the Wolverines a five-point lead with 53 seconds left. Johnson, canned a three-pointer cutting the lead down in half. Then Kansas had one final shot in the end with Johnson running the offense, he found Naadir Tharpe on the wing, who missed a wild three-pointer as time expired.
The game started off with some fireworks early as Jayhawks guard Johnson, was called for a flagrant one foul after camera’s showed him intentionally bumping Wolverines forward McGary. Instead of derailing the Jayhawks, this sparked the team. Kansas took an early seven-point advantage after freshman forward Perry Ellis made a jumper. From here, the lead grew to 10 points, before the Wolverines trimmed the margin to six at halftime.
The Wolverines started the second half on a 10-6 run, making the score 46-44, though Michigan couldn’t ever take the lead back, as McLemore and Releford took control yet again, putting Kansas back ahead by seven.
The lead grew to 14 after Johnson’s three-pointer at the 6:58 mark, only to have Michigan rally once again and force the first overtime game of the tournament. Michigan ended the game on a 22-8 run, forcing the extra period as Burke tied the game up in the waning seconds. Kansas had a chance, but Tharpe’s fading three-pointer fell just short.
Michigan faces either Florida or Florida-Gulf Coast in the South Regional final set for Sunday.
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