Kansas hangs on to beat NC State

3/23/2012 11:47:51 PM

Elijah Johnson added 11 points and Jeff Withey finished with eight points and a career-high 10 blocks for the Jayhawks (30-6), who advanced to face top- seeded North Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday.

The Tar Heels escaped with a 73-65 overtime win over 13th-seeded Ohio earlier Friday.

C.J. Leslie scored 18 points to pace NC State, but had his potential go-ahead putback layup blocked in the final minute. Scott Wood, who scored 12 points, missed a three-pointer on the same possession and later stepped out of bounds with the 11th-seeded Wolfpack (24-13) down three.

"We're obviously very disappointed," said NC State coach Mark Gottfried. "We didn't play particularly well tonight. You got to give Kansas a lot of credit. I thought their defense was very good, especially around the rim."

Kansas trailed 33-32 at the break but opened the second half with a 12-2 run. Withey scored four points during the burst, capping it with a pair of free throws for a 44-35 lead.

The Jayhawks never trailed again, though the advantage proved tenuous down the stretch.

It was 55-45 with seven minutes remaining when the Wolfpack made a push, scoring 12 of the next 15 points to pull within one. They scored seven straight to end the surge, getting a jumper from Leslie, three free throws from Wood and a transition dunk from C.J. Williams to make it 58-57 with 1:21 left.

They would get no closer.

Wood missed a three-pointer after a Kansas shot clock violation. Leslie grabbed the offensive rebound, but Withey denied the putback attempt for his 10th block of the game.

"I kind of just was in the zone," said Withey. "After the first block, I just kind of got in a rhythm and kind of knew that they were just going to keep on attacking and it just was coming to me I guess tonight."

Tyshawn Taylor then missed the first of a 1-and-1, but NC State knocked the loose ball out of bounds and a cutting Johnson made it 60-57 with a layup.

Out of a timeout, Lorenzo Brown attempted a cross-court pass to Wood, who leapt for the ball and secured it before landing out of bounds with five seconds left.

"It was just a little flare screen to get it towards that corner, and I obviously just jumped and miss-timed it too much," said Wood. "I don't know what else really to say except for I was just trying to make a play and my back foot just hit the line."

Robinson then missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and NC State called timeout, but Richard Howell's three-point heave fell short of the rim at the buzzer.

Game Notes

Kansas is in the midst of its 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament trip -- the longest active streak in the country...NC State made its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2005. It had advanced with wins over No. 6 seed San Diego State and No. 3 seed Georgetown.