Rick Pitino Has Heavy Praise For Michigan, Calls Them "Golden State"

OR 93, Iona 77 - With star big man Chris Boucher cheering in a bulky knee brace from the sidelines, Tyler Dorsey scored 24 points to lead four players in double figures, and No. 3 seed OR beat 14th-seeded Iona 93-77 Friday in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Region.

"I told my guys, all I want to do is work another night and get a chance to go against one of the top teams", Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. Nick Ward led the Spartans with 19 points on 8/9 shooting and also picked up seven rebounds. Josh Langford added 13 points and both Cassius Winston and Lourawls Nairn Jr. contributed five assists. The Spartans will not be able to keep up with this Jayhawks team for 40 minutes. "This team, we've just grown a lot, and we've been through so much this year".

Barford had 12 of his 20 points after halftime for the eighth-seeded Razorbacks (26-9), who erased an 8-point second-half hole and scored the final 7 points of the game to earn the program's third straight opening-game NCAA win.

Michigan State went one-and-done past year, suffering the ignominy of getting dumped as a No. 2 seed by a No. 15 seed.

This time, the Spartans flipped the script.

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.

INDIANAPOLIS - In a game that was close throughout, 10th-seed Wichita State outscored 7-seed Dayton 21-15 in the final eight minutes to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 64-58 triumph in Indianapolis.

Izzo pointed to the Spartans' rigorous schedule this season benefiting them now. According to Kenpom, the Cowboys have the best offense in the country. "They played a great game as well, but we will be back next year and do it again". The Bearcats hit their first nine shots and shot 62 percent for the game. The weekend has been uncharted territory for most of this group, but if Johnathan Motley can stay out of early foul trouble they'll stay on track for the Sweet 16.

"Disappointing to lose, certainly, but even more disappointing that we didn't play the kind of defense that we've been playing for most of the season", Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga said. The Hurricanes made seven of their first 12 shots to open the 12 point lead.

Michigan State fell behind by a touchdown and field goal before scoring, and the NCAA Tournament first-round game against Miami had the makings of a blowout. Davon Reed has been the team leader with 15 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while Ja'Quan Newton is putting up 13.4 points per contest.

But the 'Canes should expect to win, they've been the better and more consistent team throughout the entire season.

Five turnovers in the early stages of the run helped the Hurricanes start the game on a 10-0 run.

The Spartans only made six of their 20 three-point attempts (30%) but shot 12/14 from the free throw line.

The second half saw just four combined turnovers between the teams - each with two.

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.

MI is through to the NCAA tournament's round of 32.