When the dust settled after the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, there were two ACC teams left standing out of the four that were invited.
The day didn’t start out well for the ACC, as North Carolina lost to one seed Kansas, 70-58. It was a game in which the media made it more about the former coach (Roy Williams) facing his former team of years ago (Kansas).
The Tarheels led 30-21 at the half and took the Jayhawks completely out of their offense. Kansas committed 12 first half turnovers and went seven-plus minutes without a field goal. After UNC then missed 12 shots in a row, they went on a 14-2 run to end the half.
However in the second half for the second straight game, big man Jeff Withey took over. Withey finished with a double-double: 16 points and 16 rebounds. He was helped out by fellow senior Travis Releford, who scored 22 points.
Kansas out-scored UNC, 49-28 in the second half. The Tarheels new look four guard offense was no match in the second half for the interior Jayhawks.
PJ Hairston scored 15 points and hauled in eight rebounds, while James Michael McAdoo chipped in 11 points in the loss (they were the only two in double figures for UNC).
The night was much kinder to the ACC.
Two seed Miami held on for the 63-29 victory over seven seed Illinois. It is only the second time in school history that the Hurricanes are headed to the Sweet 16. They will play three seed Marquette on Thursday night at 7:15pm ET on CBS.
The Hurricanes received 21 points off the bench from Rion Brown to go with 17 points from Shane Larkin, who played all forty minutes. Larkin‘s three pointer with one minute remaining to give Miami the lead was his first basket since there was 10:29 to go in the game. Miami then hit six straight free throws to seal the win.
It was a hard fought battle that didn’t see a ton of turnovers committed (just 14 combined), but also did not see a ton of scoring over the first 3/4 of the game (Miami only led 29-26 at the half).
For more on the Illinois loss, click HERE.