June 29, 2017

OSU basketball: Cowboys' season ends at hands of hot-shooting MI

20 March 2017, 12:44 | Simon Arnold

GREENVILLE, South Carolina - Justin Jackson broke out of a shooting slump with 21 points to help top-seeded North Carolina roll past Texas Southern 103-64 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament's South Region.

Here are three thoughts from No. 7 seed Michigan's 92-91 victory over No. 10 seed Oklahoma State on Friday afternoon.

And what Oklahoma State is going to give MI is not much time to think, similar to what the Wolverines experienced at UCLA in early December. But since the freshman-dominated Spartans (20-14) are the No. 9 seed in the Midwest, college basketball fans get a blue-blood battle in the second round.

Michigan State bet has paid off in the first round and the Spartans are now a solid 18-15 against the spread, while the over against Miami brought their O/U record to 16-17.

Kansas is a highly skilled offensive team that averaged 83.2 points per game - that ranks 15th in the country. Mention Michigan State and Kansas and NCAA tournament, and the conversation always comes back to one moment frozen in time.

"They're going to try to set the tone", Harper said. The Michigan State-Miami matchup will do absolutely nothing to dissuade against that. "It's about continuing to build going forward".

Will some of that confidence boil over from the first game or will the Spartans crack under the pressure?

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He was already unnerved by what he saw. They will need to maintain that level of performance against the Jayhawks, who are deeper and more talented than Michigan State.

"That was my first time seeing Michigan State in person. It's a hard first weekend without question". The Tar Heels were to face Arkansas and Duke was to meet SC in late games Sunday.

The Spartans had a bad start in their first round matchup with Miami, committing seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes and falling behind as much as 12 points.

Wilson finished with 19 points (6-12 FG, 6-6 FT), five rebounds and four blocked shots. "It just took a while for us to get used to it. Coach has been stressing all year to focus for 40 minutes and we probably won't be able to have a lapse again like that in this tournament". He had another big game in the tournament opener against UC Davis, finishing with 22 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Whether it's Mason or Josh Jackson or Devonte' Graham, they simply have too many threats offensively for the Spartans to keep up. They won beat Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Wisconsin on successive days in Washington. The victor faces the Kansas-UC Davis victor on Sunday. Clearly, Izzo landed on that list.

While Self said this year's specific scouting report and attention to MSU's personnel will mean much more in this one, the KU coach said the Jayhawks' familiarity with their next opponent can't hurt.

The Hurricanes tried to cross up the Spartans with a 2-3 matchup zone defense that Izzo credited associate head coach Dwayne Stephens for including in the scouting report.

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