North Carolina vs. Kansas: Roy Williams falls to former team in NCAA tournament

Roy Williams’s 700th win provided a gateway toward memory lane.

After No. 8 North Carolina topped Villanova in Friday’s first round, reaching the milestone for the legendary coach, all eyes turned toward the presumed second-round matchup with Kansas, the team Williams coached to great success before he went to Chapel Hill.

Sure, Kansas still had to take care of business against Western Kentucky, but that proved a mere formality. Of course Roy Williams would face the Jayhawks.

Williams, obviously, is slightly established around those parts. Just 14 straight NCAA tournaments, four Final Fours and two title game appearances. Of course, his replacement has fared equally well, if not better. Bill Self has guided the Jayhawks to nine straight Big 12 regular season championships, 10 straight NCAA tournaments and a national title in 2008.

In the end Sunday, if was Self who came out on top. Kansas overcame an 11-point halftime deficit, sprinting to a double-digit lead while the Tar Heels offense became, well, just stuck in tar. The Jayhawks won 70-58, and will face fourth-seeded Michigan in the South Region Sweet 16 in Dallas next weekend.

During that run, center Jeff Withey did this (check out the high-stepping robot celebration to the far left of Kansas’s bench):


And that was plenty. Withey, he of Charles Barkley misquote fame, finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks, which is somewhat of a rarity for Jayhawks players on this stage.

After one of those blocks, a soaring rejection along the three-point line, some UNC fans were appropriately disgusted.


(If you have some time, read this story from the Kansas City Star on the search for Self.)

More on the NCAA tournament

Behind the scenes with Oregon

Home of Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams caught fire

Watch Dunk City? Now experience the rap.

Fla. Gulf Coast’s coach becomes a tournament sensation

Photos: Scenes from the tournament

Interactive bracket and NCAA tournament history database

The Bracket Challenge contest (Round-by-round)

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Cindy Boren · March 24, 2013