Michigan State's Tom Izzo: I think Kansas is a helluva team
Mar 19 2017
"We get to work again", Izzo said.
OSU lost to MI 92-91 on Friday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The absence of top shot-blocker Chris Boucher still haunts the team, but as long as Jordan Bell plays at a high level (17 points, 10 rebounds vs. Iona) and Dillon Brooks can provide assistance as a rim protector, the Ducks will be fine.
Alvin Ellis III gave the Spartans their first lead with four minutes until halftime, and they made nine of their last 11 shots in the first half to take a 38-27 lead into the break.
"We were like, all right, they punched us in the mouth and everything that could happen happened and now it's our turn to make our run". MI made 11 threes in the second half alone.
Jaquan Newton led Miami with 16 points.
Michigan State comes into this game with a 19-14 record overall. After an Ebuka Izundu dunk over Kenny Goins, the MSU sophomore forward turned it over at the other end going into the media time-out with 11:46 left in the period.
The Michigan State Spartans (19-14) are coming from a 63-58 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers in which Miles Bridges scored 20 points in 7-for-20 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Isaiah Hicks added 17 points and Kennedy Meeks had 13 for the Tar Heels.
Pitino is referring, of course, to Michigan's 11-for-15 performance from behind the arc in the second half against Oklahoma State, which netted them a gritty 92-91 win against Brad Underwood and the Cowboys. "We've been through a lot this year, so when we saw we were down 10 or 12, we weren't fazed".
Michigan State went one-and-done previous year, suffering the ignominy of getting dumped as a No. 2 seed by a No. 15 seed. Miles Bridges scored 18 and led with nine rebounds.
The battle looked settled when Michigan's D.J. Wilson made two free throws with four seconds left for a 92-88 lead - and also gave MI a cover with the 2.5-point spread favoring the Wolverines, CBS Sports reports. "Once the momentum shifted from our side to their side we could never get it back".
Third seed Baylor was a victor in Tulsa as Al Freeman came off the bench to score 21 points in a 91-73 romp over New Mexico State.
After a mostly boring first day of the NCAA Tournament, the opening game delivered excitement in spades.
Despite trailing by as many as seven, MI was buoyed by 5-of-6 shooting from long range to start the decisive half. But there's been a process to this whole thing, and I've been sticking to it and saying it.
Mason, Josh Jackson, and Devonte' Graham are part of a Kansas team that is as balanced as any team in the country.
"Sometimes the adversity kills you, and sometimes you rise up", Izzo said. I think in the last month this team has risen up. "I think it was, but I wouldn't point at that as being the sole reason".