Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Five Key Plays: Michigan vs. Oklahoma State

Michigan State Basketball defeated Miami in impressive fashion, and their reward is a date with No. 1 seed Kansas (29-4).

Playing with a talent advantage against UC Davis, KU constantly tried to fly up the floor after misses, steals and even after makes.

One of the biggest storylines in the game came at its end.

Derrick Walton Jr.battled Evans in possibly the best point guard matchup of the tournament so far.

In a wild turn of events, the buzzer beating heave by Evans changed money in a lot of hands as the spread was only MI by 2.5. Detroit native Josh Jackson averages 16.4 points per game, scored 17 against the Aggies and averages 7.4 rebounds.

Michigan State followed its early stumble by outscoring Miami 33-10 to close out the half, including a 20-2 run at one point, and took a 38-27 halftime lead - one it only added to in the second half.

It's been a season of learning for Head Coach Tom Izzo who frequently admits that if he could change one thing about this season it would be the rigorous non conference schedule that really seemed to take its toll on this young team. MSU finished fifth in the Big Ten but still managed to go 17-15 against the spread this season. But, Jackson went to Kansas, and now the Spartans get their shot at payback.

By the time the Michigan Wolverines outgunned their way to a 92-91 victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Irvin said little but played plenty. The Spartans also need to keep the turnovers down because Kansas likes to get out in the fastbreak and get easy baskets. But other than that I was rooting for MI to win because that would've been sweet having the hometown team win the championship.

Kansas does not have a ton of depth or scoring options in it's front court. Mason is joined in the starting lineup by senior forward Landen Lucas and junior guards Devonte' Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. MSU big man Nick Ward should be fed early and often, forcing Kansas to dig out or double team the post opening up perimeter shooters. "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". 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. The only disappointment is that it was played at such a high level that it's unfortunate that one of these teams, Oklahoma State in this case, has to be sent home after just one game. Those other three games - against Arizona, Kentucky and Duke - all were losses, but the Spartans could've beaten Arizona and were right with the Blue Devils other than a three-minute meltdown. There is no reason to believe Kansas will blow out MSU given how they have played this year. When he was here at Tulsa, we played them over in Maui in a hell of a game and his team was good.

"But Jud Heathcote, not only did he give me the chance, but he kind of ... it was the ideal guy for me, you know".

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