AUDIO: Kansas Prepares for Michigan State

  • AUDIO: Kansas Prepares for Michigan State

AUDIO: Kansas Prepares for Michigan State

The Hurricanes entered the game as an eight seed and they were the favorites over the ninth-ranked Spartans. There was a 10-second differential between the shot clock and game clock, but Michigan State opted to foul Jamari Traylor intentionally to put KU in the one-and-one, rather than playing it out. Tom Izzo's Spartan teams are about as successful as any program in March since 2000.

But after taking the Midwest Regional eighth seed's best flurry of punches, Michigan State rolled with youthful exuberance to a 38-27 halftime lead.

The Wolverines will play the victor of Louisville and Jacksonville State on Sunday.

These teams have actually met three times in the last five seasons; Kansas was favored for all three meetings, but Michigan State pulled off two upsets.

After being temporarily stunned by Ward's first personal, MSU cleared its head and settled down. Aided by a Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman four-point play, the Wolverines would eventually seize control of the game once again. "They out-toughed us in that game". "And then we just handled business". And going by the last two seasons, the Spartans prefer flying under the radar in the tournament as a No. 9 seed rather than have championship expectations as a 2 seed. "So, maybe it's a lack of fear of that that's given us some success over the years".

Despite ramping up their defense, employing a full-court press and forcing occasional turnovers, the Hurricanes saw countless close-range baskets rim out. The only disappointment is that it was played at such a high level that it's unfortunate that one of these teams, Oklahoma State in this case, has to be sent home after just one game. They don't do that. They may have finished the season with a 10-8 Big Ten record, but they have some real talent. Frank Mason posted a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double while Svi Mykhailiuk added 11 points in 32 minutes.The Jayhawks struggled mightily on offense - starting shooting guard Wayne Selden shot 0 for 10 from the field while the bench combined to shoot 3 for 12 - but found a way to gut out the win.

"Bill and I have been through a lot", Izzo said. They can't afford that kind of performance against a much better Kansas team. So, is that going to be an everyday happening? "You definitely don't know what could happen". "I don't think I've watched it back".

The Wolverines Derrick Walton Jr. was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten tournament after averaging over 20 points and six assists per game in Michigan's four wins.

There were a plethora of 3-pointers hit, vicious dunks slammed home and key defensive stands. "Today we were really good at hitting the open man".

That game nearly was Izzo's last at MSU.

"We started making reads", McQuaid said. Guard Miles Bridges added 18 and guard Joshua Langford had 13.

But the Spartans will see a veteran team in the Jayhawks.

Good guard play wins games in the NCAA Tournament. Their reward is a chance to play the Big 12 regular season champ Jayhawks, who dismantled the University of California-Davis, 100-62. "I talked to Jud last night and he said, 'Make sure those clocks are running.' So I'll probably have one of my assistants check on them". "So now we get the fourth, and that's the way the season should go, that's the way it's been for us".