Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Culture | By Elsie Buchanan

Michigan Hits 16 Threes to Advance in NCAA Tourney

Michigan Hits 16 Threes to Advance in NCAA Tourney

"Treat the beginning of the game like it's very serious, nearly like it's the last couple possessions because it's gonna matter a lot", Lucas said.

Kansas actually started out pretty slowly against UC Davis, but the Jayhawks eventually woke up and were off to the races for a 100-62 blowout victory.

"This whole week he (Izzo) has been a mixture of a lot of love and a lot of getting after you", Winston said.

Derrick Walton Jr. did not want his career at MI to come to an end.

The Wildcats advance to the Sweet 16 in Memphis.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo wasn't sure if his talented but inexperienced freshmen were ready to abandon their more comfortable up-tempo ways and play "smash mouth" basketball.

"I'll never forget that game", Pitino said. "It makes me go out and play much more free knowing they have a lot of confidence in me". I mean, where I'm from, you just kind of work when you're young and that's what you do and that's kind of the same way Jud was. The coaches don't gotta get us hyped for that. "And so switching was going to - you know, they were the third percentile in the country in post-ups". The Spartans will have to make the most of their offensive possessions and play excellent defense to shorten the game. John Beilein's teams typically abide by a high-volume outside-shooting philosophy, but Friday took things to another level. "We calmed down, got the ball in the middle of the paint, Miles was making plays and Kenny (Goins) was in the middle, too, making the right plays". "And then you look at Michigan State and you say, 'Hasn't he been to seven or eight Final Fours?' So I personally didn't feel a ton of comfort or warm feelings by seeing that". And even though both the competition level and the stakes have gone up in Round 2, the emphasis for Kansas will be the same. The keys for MSU will be slowing down Josh Jackson and Frank Mason III. "We just play the way coach wants us to play, execute our plays and just really guard on the defensive end". "Most importantly, I'm anxious about us winning".

MI was the automatic qualifier from the Big Ten and they seem to be a major contender for the championship. I think the answer was, yes.

MI erased a six-point second-half deficit with a run of four 3s, the last from Walton with 12:28 to go to take a 62-61 lead. The NCAA Tournament will start Thursday and the NIT will start with one game Wednesday but most first round games are Thursday. The Badgers are hopeful they will break this streak next year and join the top of the Big Ten in their postseason escapades.

With three starters and four regular rotation players being freshmen, Michigan State enters this one with much less experience in these situations than the likes of Mason, Graham, Lucas and a few other Jayhawks.

"Once the momentum shifted from our side, I thought we played very well the first 10 minutes, to their side, they basically totally controlled the last 10 minutes of the half", Larranaga said. "But as a coach, it was Jud", Izzo said. "I don't think we're afraid of anybody, because we've already played some of those teams".

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