Derrick Walton Jr. had 26 points and 11 assists as MI held off Oklahoma State 92-91 in the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis.
Michigan State is always unsafe in March with Tom Izzo and the team has the raw talent to make something happen, but the Spartans have been too inconsistent this season, especially away from East Lansing. "They're hungry, they're good and I never talk about our seeds but they're probably more like a six or a seven seed because of the way they played this year". I think Lucas will be able to keep him off the glass, but defending him otherwise could be a chore, especially if KU needs to dig into its bench.
Michigan State opened the tournament with a 78-58 victory over No. 8 seed Miami on Friday night. That run set the tone for the remainder of the evening.
"Definitely was tough on all of us", MI senior forward Zak Irvin said. On Sunday, they'll look to book a Sweet 16 meeting with Purdue by beating Michigan State. He scored eight points, but on 3-of-12 shooting; and had five assists, but four turnovers. Walton made two free throws with 10 seconds left to provide a four-point edge.
"Realizing the games we lost I didn't play well, I was forcing the issue and not really doing other things, excelling in other parts of my game", Mitchell said. All four average 27.6 minutes or more, with all but Mykhailiuk playing 30-plus. That, coupled with the Spartans shooting 37 percent from deep, means that there is definitely a scenario in which they get hot and there isn't much Kansas can do about it. They accomplish most of this by ranking 13th nationally in 2-point defense, and they were also 2nd in the Big 10 in defensive rebounding. Limiting their offensive weapon will be a tough task for the Spartans, but even if they manage to do so, they'll likely exert too much energy on that end of the floor, leaving their usually subpar offense (71.8 points per game) on heavy legs.
"We hear a lot of people talking about how many minutes we play", Mason said of the workload he and Graham take on for Kansas.
Miami (21-12) exited in the first round for the first time in three trips to the NCAA Tournament under coach Jim Larranaga. "You definitely could tell". Both teams are high-energy squads and both will be feeling confident going into the game.
Brad Underwood is leaving Oklahoma State after one year as the Cowboys head coach to take the same job at IL.
That's easier said than done considering that Oklahoma State likes to work quickly and get off shots early in the shot clock.
"I just heard it 10 minutes ago, so it shocks me", Self said of the news that Underwood was moving on to IL. The Spartans got revenge by defeating the Jayhawks in the 2009 regional semifinal en route to Izzo's fifth of seven Final Fours.