10:07 PM ET, March 22, 2013
Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas coach Bill Self predicted this week that a No. 1 seed would someday lose to a No. 16.He didn't know his Jayhawks would be trying to fend off being the first.The South Region's top seed needed 17 points from Jeff Withey, and a series of foul shots from Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe down the stretch, to hold off scrappy Western Kentucky 64-57 on Friday night and avoid another upset on a day full of them in the NCAA tournament.
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MVP: Jeff Withey had 17 points, 7 blocks and 6 rebounds for Kansas. The 7-footer was one of the few reliable options for a Jayhawks team that didn't make a single 3-pointer Friday, becoming the first team since 2001 to win a tourney game without a 3. Kansas scored 24 of its points from the foul stripe.
X factor: KU's Kevin Young turned in the play of the night when he rebounded his own missed 16-foot jumper near the free throw line and drove in for a two-handed backwards dunk. The basket gave Kansas a 32-31 lead early in the second half and, more importantly, ignited a crowd of 18,000-plus Jayhawks fans that remained on their feet for the rest of the game. Kansas needed all the help it could get Friday.
That was ... almost a history-making game: A No. 16 seed has never upset a No. 1 seed, but it easily could've happened Friday. Western Kentucky led 31-30 at halftime and was still within four points with 28 seconds remaining. KU won mainly because it held WKU to 20 percent shooting after intermission.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||21-66 (.318)||20-42 (.476)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-20 (.150)||0-6 (.000)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-18 (.667)||24-30 (.800)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||24 (0/0)||15 (0/0)|
|» Mar 22, 2013||@KU 64, WKU 57||Recap|
Jeff Withey blocked or altered 16 shot attempts Friday, including half of Western Kentucky's paint field goal attempts in the second half. The Hilltoppers shot 25.0 percent in the paint in the second half after making 10 of their 15 paint attempts in the first half.[+]
The Jeff Withey Effect
Kansas won despite making a single 3-pointer for the first time since a February 2008 win against Baylor. Kansas is the first team to win an NCAA Tournament game without making a single 3-pointer since Arizona vs Ole Miss in 2001. The good news for Kansas? The last 2 teams to win an NCAA Tournament game without making a 3-pointer advanced to the National Championship game.[+]
Won NCAA Tournament Game With 0 3-pt FG - Last 15 Years
Kansas beat Western Kentucky Friday despite making one field goal outside the paint, tied for the fewest in any game in the last four Men's Basketball Championship (Akron made one Thursday vs VCU). The Jayhawks shot 7.7 percent (1-13) outside the paint Friday, the second-lowest shooting percentage from that distance in the last four tournaments.
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