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Michigan State Basketball vs. Kansas
July 26 2017, 06:39 | Van Peters
But in the tournament, they became an inspired team, playing with the kind of energy, confidence, and joy that players have who know what they're doing, know that they know what they're doing, and are having a blast doing it together.
Louisville 78, Jacksonville State 63 - Mangok Mathiang scored 18 points and Deng Adel added 16 Friday to help second-seeded Louisville pull away from Jacksonville State 78-63 in the first round of the Midwest Regional.
"I thought Michigan State really controlled the backboards and executed very well..."
The Jayhawks have to feel at least a little uneasy about it, especially if they watched any of Michigan State's first-round victory over eighth-seeded Miami.
While point spreads and other external factors don't have any bearing on games elsewhere, the Spartans, along with several members of the media, watched the end of Wisconsin's upset of No. 1 overall seed Villanova in their locker room and, later, fellow-Big Ten brother Northwestern, almost knocked off No. 1 Gonzaga.
Izzo now holds a 4-2 record against Self's Jayhawks, an impressive mark considering all but one of those games have come right down to the wire. The Spartans also avoided losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament in consecutive years for the first time in Tom Izzo's tenure. "We're locked in and you know that we're going to do whatever we can to get another win".
With Oklahoma State controlling play early in the game, a 6-0 run brought the Wolverines back into contention.
He was already unnerved by what he saw.
Miami's defense which had been elite all season, faltered against Michigan State.
Michigan's three-point shooting reached it's peak with 9:12 left to in regulation as Michigan's Walton Jr. nailed a trey in the eye of Evans. "It's a hard first weekend without question".
That game will begin at 5:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, and will be broadcast by CBS in the United States.
Miami will now look to regroup and start work on next season. Ward hurt the Hurricanes inside with 19 points while putting in his best defensive performance of his young career, fellow freshman Miles Bridges scored some of his 18 points with high-flying putback dunks and a pair of 3-pointers and Langford had 13.
But the Spartans will see a veteran team in the Jayhawks.
TULSA, Oklahoma - Frank Mason III scored 22 points and had eight assists as top-seeded Kansas won its opening game of the NCAA Tournament for an 11th straight year with a 100-62 victory over UC Davis on Friday night. Butler battles Middle Tennessee and Iowa State takes on Purdue in Milwaukee.
By late Friday night, Izzo was already singing praises about Jackson, a Detroit native. Clearly, Izzo landed on that list.
"Games are decided in the last five", he said at the time, "and they were much better in the last five".
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.