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Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Tourney recap: No. 9 Michigan State rolls No. 8 Miami


During the regular season, Michigan State posted a 7-9 record against teams in the NCAA Tournament, which included non-conference losses to Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor and Duke. Bridges leads in rebounds with 8.3 while Cassius Winston tops in assists with 5.1 per game.

The Spartans worked together to keep Miami from gaining any traction down the stretch. It's disappointing to lose, certainly, but it's more disappointing that we didn't play the kind of defense that we'd been playing for most of the season. Whether it was basketball or football, the Cowboys just seemed to have to work harder for things more than other teams. Brown and Ja'Quan Newton will be counted on to lead the Hurricanes next season.

The dream run of 2017 continues for MI, from a plane crash to a Big Ten conference title and now a win in the best game of the tournament to this point. The Spartans had turned the ball over six times and been outscored 10-0 before they'd even broken a sweat.

On the season, Michigan State basketball is averaging 71.7 points, 36.7 rebounds and 17.0 assists per.

But after taking the Midwest Regional eighth seed's best flurry of punches, Michigan State rolled with youthful exuberance to a 38-27 halftime lead.

At Indianapolis, Mangok Mathiang scored 18 points and Deng Adel added 16 to highlight second-seeded Louisville's 78-63 dismantling of Jacksonville State at Indianapolis.

Izzo pointed to the Spartans' rigorous schedule this season benefiting them now.

"Our goal as a team was to make them have the best senior campaign they could have". "We can use that again". The Spartans came into the tournament having lost three of their final four games, but were able to put up a convincing win against Miami in the first round. Expect Louisville to march on to the Sweet 16.

But they haven't had a typical Michigan State season.

"Their defense really picked up", Miami coach Jim Larranaga.

Oklahoma State shot almost 55 percent overall itself, led by an electric point guard in Juwan Evans, who finished with 23 points (10-26 FG), 12 assists and seven rebounds.

MI carried a seven-point advantage after a pair of Duncan Robinson free throws with 23 seconds left.

Seventh-seeded MI needed every point it could muster in a game that ended with a parade to the free-throw line, a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and a foe that refused to go away.

But Michigan was absolutely on fire from downtown in the second half, preventing the Cowboys from riding an efficient offensive performance.

"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. They shot 4-14 the reminder of the first half. Jackson grew up a Michigan State fan. Miami beat Michigan State 67-59 on November 28, 2012, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

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