KU reaches Sweet 16
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 7:56
Much will be said in the coming days about this year's team, examining what could have been and lauding the effort of the players to even get the team to the program's 20th consecutive NCAA tournament.
The Kansas star freshman was as advertised Sunday evening in Kansas' 90-70 second-round win over Michigan State.
Up next, Kansas will take on 4-seed Purdue in the Sweet 16 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO.
However, KU went on a 8-1 run to build the lead to at that time a game high 12 points, 77-65, at 5:45. Frank Mason added 20 and Deyonte' Graham had 18 for the Jayhawks. "They shot it fairly well, but they competed, they defended and they cared about the right things".
"Josh is a hell of a player", Izzo said. This was the case with five and a half minutes remaining in the game where Kansas was able to stretch their lead up to 12 at 77-65, the largest Jayhawk lead at the time.
"I think everyone's rooting for it, it's a great opportunity if we can get the Kansas crowd a couple other good schools in the Sweet 16 Elite 8 games it's going to be a great economic boost for the city", Johnny's Tavern Asst. And then they just took over.
The most significant departure Izzo will have to deal with is Miles Bridges, who could very well declare for the National Basketball Association draft after putting together the best freshman season at MSU by anyone not named Magic Johnson. Forward Dwight Coleby - who was fouled - hit his first free throw.
KU survived a mistake by Lagerald Vick, who slammed at 7:27 off a lob from Graham to give the Jayhawks a 69-59 lead. He scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Michigan State had arguably one of the best performances of the first round when it defeated Miami 78-58 on Friday.
In the end, I think this will go down as one of the best games in the tournament and Kansas squeaks out a tight victory.
Izzo thought that would play a factor Sunday and was impressed when the Jayhawks didn't have any missteps in the final minutes.
Graham returned the favor by tossing an alley-oop lob that Mykhailiuk threw down to finish a fast break and cap Kansas' 13-2 run.
Bridges finished with 22 points to lead Michigan State, doing so despite leaving the game briefly in the first half with a hip pointer before returning.
"I thought they played an exceptional last eight, 10 minutes", Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. The second-seeded Spartans defeated the third-seeded Jayhawks 67-62 in Indianapolis. This game is a rematch of the 2013 NCAA Championship which saw Louisville beat MI 82-76. General Manager Chris King said during the Jayhawks 90-70 win Sunday over Michigan State.