Michigan State Eliminated By Kansas In Second Round

Henrietta Brewer
March 20, 2017

How Kansas responded would say a lot about the top-remaining team in the NCAA tournament.

The Jayhawks' victory assured KU a spot in Thursday's Sweet 16 contest against No. 4-seed Purdue at the Sprint Center, where KU was bounced by TCU in a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal game on March 9.

However, KU went on a 8-1 run to build the lead to at that time a game high 12 points, 77-65, at 5:45.

It has been a hard past few weeks for Jackson, who was suspended by Kansas coach Bill Self for the Jayhawks' Big 12 tournament opener in the wake of a December confrontation with a women's basketball player. "They shot it fairly well, but they competed, they defended and they cared about the right things".

But they both play like losing is not an option, and their teammates follow suit. No. 1 Kansas is favored to win over the No. 9 Spartans, but the matchup will be interesting, as it pits a veteran-heavy Jayhawks team against a Michigan State side that's expected to start three freshman.

A six-point game with 6:43 to play turned into a 20-point rout as the Jayhawks outscored Sparty 29-5 in the final 6 minutes. "They just took over".

Senior Landen Lucas scored 10 points and grabbed 11 boards, while junior Dwight Coleby contributed three points with four boards and a steal in nine crucial second-half minutes. But Wagner was able to get to the basket, draw fouls, make free throws and even hit an occasional outside shot. "We're going to need that moving forward because you never know who's going to get in foul trouble or an injury or anything like that".

"Josh is a hell of a player", Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.

Frank Mason III is putting up 20.8 points per game in 2016-17, and - likely to no one's surprise - he has cracked the 20-point mark in back-to-back tournament games. "Tha's a recipe for some success, and I think they have a good chance to have some success".

The teams swapped the lead 11 times through the first 15 minutes as they wrestled for control. The Jayhawks made 16 of 32 field goal attempts (50%) in the first half. The Jayhawks, led by Josh Jackson, put on a show, with at least three alley-oop dunks.

Graham returned the favor by tossing an alley-oop lob that Mykhailiuk threw down to finish a fast break and cap Kansas' 13-2 run.

The Wolverines were seeded eighth in the Big Ten Tournament and arrived in Washington, D.C., on the day of their first game because their team charter had slid off the runway in an aborted takeoff the previous day in MI. The second-seeded Spartans defeated the third-seeded Jayhawks 67-62 in Indianapolis.

Ryan McCumber: Michigan State takes on its biggest challenge so far this year.

Joe Clifford: Michigan State will look to advance to the Sweet 16 with a win over Kansas.

Other reports by iNewsToday