OSU basketball: Michigan's hot shooting ends Cowboys' season

Michigan State's win over the Hurricanes improved the school to 14-10 in the NCAA Tournament as a lower seed under Izzo.

All six of Walton's 3-pointers had MI fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on their feet as the Wolverines continued their magical March with a 92-91 victory Friday against Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The only issue is Miles Bridges.

The Wolverines struggled earlier in the season when other teams hit them in the mouth.

Combined, the Hurricanes' Davon Reed, Ja'Quan Newton and Bruce Brown average about 40 points per game and nine assists.

This time, the Spartans flipped the script.

While the Michigan State first round win isn't all that surprising, very few outside the hardcore Spartans' fans have expected this. While Michigan State should keep it close in the first half, the Jayhawks' talent and depth will likely be too much to overcome.

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

"You go 11 for 15, that's hard enough to do in a gym by yourself", Underwood said. "We can use that again".

The Cowboys' drought without an NCAA Tournament game will continue for another year, and seniors Phil Forte and Leyton Hammonds ended their careers without a win in the tourney. Izzo's Spartans are 47-18 with 13 Sweet 16 berths with six first-weekend exits.

They both entered in the top five in adjusted offensive efficiency, with good shooters and great athletes all over the floor.

All the factors that were critical for a Miami victory failed them.

In a game with a handful of key swings - including the 2 1/2-minute period when Moritz Wagner played with two fouls in the first half and MI swung the score by five points, and the Weekend Warrior YMCA move Walton used to draw a three-shot foul in the final seconds of the first half - one of the biggest came with MI trailing 32-30. Michigan State has always been a team that lives by making teams work for each and every point, and that will be crucial against a Kansas team that can put points on the board in a hurry. Miami got five early steals and scored eight quick points off turnovers. Before putting all of his focus on the NBA Draft, Bridges will try to lead his 9th ranked Spartans through the Midwest region and into the Final Four.

"After that first seven or eight minutes, I thought we played some of the best basketball we've played, not only this year but in a couple of years, Izzo said".

But each time, MI shot from the foul line like it did from behind the arc.

If knowledge is power, Michigan State will have a powerful new arrow in its quiver against the Jayhawks. "I think our guys are really in the pocket now where we understand the gameplan, and now we're executing the gameplan to the end".

Comparing what the second half turned into, the sluggish start to the first half proved to be an anomaly.



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