March Madness: Michigan rains threes on Oklahoma State in first-round win
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 18:56
Against Miami, Michigan State fell behind by as many as 12 points in the first half before turning things around and building a comfortable 38-27 lead at halftime. That's the good news.
- Rhode Island is the third No. 11 seed to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament following the Rams' 84-72 triumph over Creighton. The game featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes but MI had just enough firepower to advance.
Kansas is a perennial favorite to either win the NCAA Tournament or reach the Final Four every year.
Regardless of how Izzo feels about it, Michigan State's reputation as a giant killer in the postseason has been well earned over the years.
Michigan State does not have the firepower to hang with the Jayhawks, so the Spartans will need to keep it low scoring and a slow-paced game.
The Spartans had a awful start in their first round matchup with Miami, committing seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes and falling behind as much as 12 points. They kind of proved to themselves - against a good, quality team - that they could get down and bounce back.
While head coach John Beilein thinks that his team can compete in any game if the shot is there, he does wonder if the magic from beyond the arc is going to end. They have threats at each position on the floor and can find numerous ways to score.
MI coach John Beilein was making his 11th career appearance in the NCAA tournament, including his seventh with the Wolverines.
The Wolverines found themselves facing early deficits in both halves, but figured out a way to regroup, adjust and take control of the game in both instances.
Mason has been the go-to guy for the Jayhawks all season and is considered by some as the National Player of the Year. If he would have missed, MI bettors would have won.
Bridges, 6-foot-7, 230 pounds, is a potential lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, averaging a team-best 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Great as those performances were, they're resting in the shadow of what Derrick Walton Jr. did against the Cowboys.
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.
But they haven't had a typical Michigan State season.
Duncan Robinson finished with eight points off the bench, but he struggled at the free-throw line, missing twice on the front-end of a 1-and-1. They do that and they'll have a chance. For a Round of 32 game, this one has a lot on the line.
The team played with passion and determination because Izzo gave the freshman class a little extra motivation this past week, freshman guard Joshua Langford said.