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All five Kansas starters scored in double figures. Player of the year candidate Thomas Robinson had 18 points and nine rebounds, Elijah Johnson had 10 points with a key 3-pointer in the finishing run.
Reserve James Michael McAdoo had 15 points in 19 minutes with a pair of steals that led to two-hand dunks for North Carolina. Tyler Zeller had 12 points, six rebounds and four blocks in his final game and John Henson, who averages a double-double, had 10 points but just four rebounds while hampered by a sprained right ankle he had taped during the first half.
Harrison Barnes had 13 points, but just five in the second half, and also had three turnovers. Barnes was the last of the North Carolina starters to meet with reporters in a somber locker room, slumped for several minutes in his stall with a towel draped over his head.
"We had an opportunity to win that game and we didn't come through," Barnes said. "I missed a lot of shots I usually make. Big-time players come through in big-time games, and it just wasn't there tonight."
Williams faced Kansas for just the second time since leaving the school he coached for 15 seasons. He's been at North Carolina for nine years and yet the scars linger with one fan holding a sign that said, "Roy Down, 2 to Go."
North Carolina missed star point guard Kendall Marshall, out for the second straight game with a broken right wrist. Marshall ruled himself out before the game because he couldn't catch a pass, and said after the game that if the Tar Heels had made it to the Final Four he would have been ready.
"It was my decision," Marshall said. "I think I would have hurt my team more than helped them."
Stilman White had seven assists Sunday for a two-game total of 13 with no turnovers in place of Marshall, who counseled the freshman during timeouts from the bench. But White couldn't come through late when Kansas switched to a zone that sagged on the inside and dared him to shoot.
"We switched into a zone and it gave them a huge problem," Withey said. "Coach Self knows what he's doing."
The ploy seemed to confuse North Carolina.
"They switched it up on us and we couldn't figure it out. I'm still trying to figure it out," Henson said. "That's why we're sitting here now."
The schools traded baskets in an entertaining, high-octane first half that had it deadlocked at 47. North Carolina shot 64 percent and Kansas was at 56 percent, and there were only nine turnovers total.
Baskets were hard to come by the rest of the way. Kansas shot 35.5 percent but North Carolina was an abysmal 23 percent in the second half.
"We knew we had to tighten up on defense. We shut them down," Robinson said. "It feels great right now. Call me tomorrow morning and I can tell you how it feels then."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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