Michigan fans waiting to see who the Wolverines would match up with in the Sweet Sixteen were treated to an entertaining game as the eighth seeded North Carolina Tar Heels took on the top seeded Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas ended up with a comfortable-looking 70-58 victory, but the Tar Heels gave them a run for much of the game.
North Carolina jumped out to a quick ten point lead — they took a 12-2 lead out of the gate — and managed to maintain much of that lead heading to the locker room (leading 30-21 at the half). But, much like their opening round game where they allowed Villanova to come roaring back from a large deficit, the Tar Heels stumbled to begin the second stanza.
Kansas stormed out of the break on a 19-5 run that lasted seven minutes to turn the nine-point deficit into a 40-35 lead. They wouldn’t trail again. North Carolina was able to hang around for a few more minutes, but Kansas showed they were the superior team and had the double-digit lead secured for good with around ten minutes left to play.
Michigan and Kansas will play on Friday at a time still to be determined. The Massey Ratings predicts something like a one point Michigan win (71-70) — a near toss-up — and gives the Wolverines a 53% chance of victory.
The Kansas Jayhawks played two Big Ten teams this season. They lost to Michigan State 67-64 on a neutral court back in November and then beat Ohio State in Columbus 74-66 a few days before Christmas.