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Published: Saturday, 3/30/2013

WOLVERINES NOTEBOOK

Kansas’ flagrant foul generates controversy

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Kansas' Elijah Johnson strips the ball from Michigan's Jordan Morgan during the second half Friday in Arlington, Texas. Kansas' Elijah Johnson strips the ball from Michigan's Jordan Morgan during the second half Friday in Arlington, Texas.
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ARLINGTON, Texas — While it wasn’t quite the shot heard around the world, it was certainly a shot that inspired a lot of chatter — and a lot of replays on DVRs and online.

In the first half of Michigan’s 87-85 overtime win over Kansas in an NCAA tournament South regional game, Elijah Johnson put a certain hurt on Mitch McGary — and in a rather sensitive spot.

While going against McGary on an inbounds play by Michigan, Johnson bumped into McGary and grabbed the 6-foot-10 forward in the shorts — between his legs — and McGary fell to the floor.

Johnson drew a flagrant foul on the play, which allowed McGary to shoot a pair of free throws. McGary missed both free throws at 1:45 of the first half, but as a result of the play — which was reviewed for its degree of flagrancy — Johnson may have landed himself in the referee’s crosshairs.

Johnson received his third foul with 9:17 left in the first half and played only three minutes of the first half.

“I didn’t see it, but obviously the official said he did it, so he did it,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “The film doesn’t lie. That’s not how we play. And that was not smart at all.”

McGary recovered quickly and led the Wolverines with 11 points in the first half, despite any residual pain from the early game love tap.

A BIGGER HOUSE: Everything is supposed to be a little bigger in Texas, right? If that’s the case, then consider Cowboys Stadium a monolith.

“This is such a great environment, and it’s something different,” Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III said. “I’ve been here once, but a lot of people haven’t been at a place like this.

“It seems like so much more open space, and it’s a way bigger stadium than any of us have ever played in.”

Michigan’s football team opened its season at Cowboys Stadium with a 41-14 loss to Alabama, the eventual BCS champion.

“When we came into this game, it felt like an away game,” Michigan guard Tim Hardaway, Jr., said. But it was just a great experience to play in a stadium.”

Friday was Kansas’ second go-round at an NFL stadium in the last year — the Jayhawks lost to Kentucky in the 2012 national title game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

“It’s definitely different,” Kansas guard Naadir Tharpe said prior to Friday’s game. “Different arenas have different types of lighting. People always talk about that. People talk to me about that, as well.”

TIME MANAGEMENT: The family of a Kansas fan who died Tuesday in Lawrence, Kan., scheduled a wake to precede Friday’s game.

In the obituary for Donald Shoulberg, which ran in the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World and was also picked up by The Dagger, Yahoo.com’s college basketball blog, stated that “a prayer service will be at 5 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2013 at the mortuary followed by a visitation until tipoff time for the K.U. basketball game (approx. 6:30 p.m.).”

BIG 12 COUNTRY: After Friday’s loss, Kansas is 6-7 in nine NCAA tournament appearances in the Lone Star State.

In San Antonio, the Jayhawks went 1-1 in the 2011 Southwest regional, 2-0 in the 2008 Final Four, and 0-1 in the 2001 Midwest Regional in San Antonio. In Dallas, Kansas lost to Duke in the 1986 national semifinals and went 2-1 in the 1957 tournament. In Houston, the Jayhawks went 0-2 in 1971 and went 1-1 in Lubbock in 1966.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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