March Madness 2017, Kansas vs. Michigan State
A year after being ousted in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Michigan State made that a distant memory by routing Miami. This was good news for the public. Previously, Larranaga guided the Hurricanes to the Sweet 16 in 2013 and 2016. He finished with 26 points on 7-for-13 shooting, following up on being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament. That includes Michigan State, Purdue, and Wisconsin. Sometimes that's a good thing. Oklahoma State only turned MI over four times and the Wolverines continue leading the nation in lowest turnovers per game.
Frank Mason - Kansas has one of the best collection of guards in the country. Here's a deeper look at each one of those three keys.
Miami has lost three of its last four entering the tournament to fall to 21-11 on the season. Forte, OSU's all-time 3-point shooter, finished while 12 points, while Hammonds scored 10 points with seven rebounds. They have threats at each position on the floor and can find numerous ways to score.
MI has proven over the course of the season it can push the tempo, slow it down in the half court and even switch gears during a game. That's the same type of performance they'll need to pull the upset. Irvin had another pivotal game with 16 points (6-11 FG, 4-6 3-point) and three assists while playing all 40 minutes.
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Added Mason: "It doesn't really matter what year a player is".
Despite all of the efforts in the end by Evans, Michigan flexed their muscles as one of the best free throw shotoing teams in the nation by nailing down the final six attempts to ice the game. Bridges leads in rebounds with 8.3 while Cassius Winston tops in assists with 5.1 per game.
The Rams are riding an eight-game winning streak after capturing the Atlantic 10 tournament title by beating VCU. He basically does it all for Kansas, similar to what Derrick Walton Jr. does for MI. Bridges leads the Spartans in points (16.7) and rebounds (8.3) per game while Ward is second in both categories at 13.9 points and 6.6 boards. While Michigan State should keep it close in the first half, the Jayhawks' talent and depth will likely be too much to overcome. They do that and they'll have a chance. They took the court wearing their practice uniforms because their game uniforms were still trapped under the plane. A sixth swish, from Walton, gave U-M a 62-61 lead with 12 minutes to play and provided a clear indication of what was in store for the remainder of the game. Kansas averages 13.1 turnovers per game, which is a lot, and in their four losses they gave it up almost 15 times per contest. Now, Tom Izzo is ready to continue his reputation as a giant-killer in March. The program won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since advancing to the Elite Eight and losing to Stanford in 1998. So then you've got to drive the ball and say we're not doing it. The TCU loss showed us that Kansas was vulnerable and could be beaten on any given day. He stayed near the Michigan State bench for a few minutes, then went back to the locker room.
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