Jayhawks’ late surge halts Tar Heels’ run to Final Four

Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor scored a game-high 22 points, including a traditional three-point play that helped the No. 2 seed Jayhawks pull away down the stretch to an 80-67 victory over North Carolina and former coach Roy Williams in the Midwest Regional final in St. Louis.

The Tar Heels (32-6) pulled within 68-67 with 3:58 left, but Kansas closed the game on a 12-0 run and held North Carolina without a field goal for the final 5:43.

The Jayhawks (31-6) advance to face Ohio State in the Final Four on Saturday in New Orleans in a rematch of a game Kansas won at home earlier this season. The Buckeyes were without star forward Jared Sullinger in that game.

Taylor was able to shake off the offensive struggles that have hampered him throughout the tournament — he averaged 8.7 points in the Jayhawks’ first three NCAA tournament games, down from his 16.6 season average.

National player of the year finalist Thomas Robinson added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Jayhawks, who got double-digit scoring from all five starters.

Center Jeff Withey scored 15 points to go with eight rebounds and did a great job defensively against fellow 7-footer Tyler Zeller, who had 12 points and six rebounds after putting up 20 points and 23 boards Friday against Ohio.

North Carolina forward John Henson suffered an ankle injury early in the game, leaving the Tar Heels with a match-up problem against Robinson.

The Tar Heels already were shorthanded with star point guard Kendall Marshall missing a second consecutive game with a broken wrist suffered in the round of 32 against Creighton.

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