Though there was only one seed difference between Michigan State and Miami, the way the Spartans pounded the Hurricanes was surprising.
Added junior guard Devonte' Graham: "It's two legendary coaches going at it, with two legendary programs, so both coaches will be locked in as well as the players". More fouls and turnovers ensued, which the Hurricanes used to build 10-0 and 17-5 leads and conjure of memories of MSU's disastrous beginning against Middle Tennessee State previous year in St. Louis.
Tom Izzo was there at Kemper Arena that night in 1986.
But they haven't had a typical Michigan State season.
Jackson had an alley-oop dunk and a spectacular drive to the basket for a layup that ignited Kansas midway through the first half against UC Davis. Still, it remained tight, with both teams answering at opposite ends in a period that featured 10 lead changes.
No. 1 seed Kansas against No. 9 Michigan State features two top freshmen in the Jayhawks' Josh Jackson and the Spartans' Miles Bridges.
After being temporarily stunned by Ward's first personal, MSU cleared its head and settled down. "But we grind it out and make it happen". "They can't put that into a formula to come out with a percentage chance to win, and that's the things that we have. And then we just handled business".
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. "It's about continuing to build going forward".
Earlier in the week, before Kansas knew whether it would see the Spartans or Hurricanes in the second round, Jayhawks coach Bill Self allowed himself a peek ahead at the bracket. But us having the season that we had, we're battle tested. "We had a tremendous league past year with a lot of turnover". Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Associated Press is strictly prohibited. It's a rough matchup for MSU freshman Cassius Winston and will test MSU's help gap defense. A sixth swish, from Walton, gave U-M a 62-61 lead with 12 minutes to play and provided a clear indication of what was in store for the remainder of the game.
"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. They don't do that. "We play with more intensity, more energy, and we're not satisfied with anything".
MSU is now 8-9 straight up and 9-8 against the spread this season versus teams that made the Big Dance. "When you turn it over that much, it was pretty easy to come up with a solution - quit turning the ball over". 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.