ibusinesslines.com March 24, 2017

March Madness: No. 9 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Kansas

20 March 2017, 08:01 | Melissa Porter

Matchup to Watch: #9 Michigan State Spartans vs. #1 Kansas Jayhawks

Michigan forward Moe Wagner celebrates with teammate D.J. Wilson after scoring against Louisville in the second half Sunday

Kansas dispatched the 16-seed UC Davis Aggies on Friday, 100-62, in the first round. "Why wouldn't we be excited to play in our hometown, in our own state, in front of the best fans in the world".

The Spartans will face the Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. "We work hard, too, and we get on the glass and we like to be physical too", Lucas said.

While players like Jackson and Devonte' Graham have elevated their games in the Big Dance (Graham is putting up 17 points per game in the tournament while Jackson is pouring in 20 points per game), Mason III has been the best player on the court all season long, and he can't take his foot off the gas pedal now. The rare Michigan State player who could go to the National Basketball Association after his freshman season, Bridges was terrific with 22 points and eight rebounds in defeat. He finished with two blocks and two steals while outshining the Spartans' core of talented freshmen.

In other ways, there are similarities to the 1988 NCAA champion Jayhawks and Self's 2012 runners-up.

"It feels great, just one step closer to reaching our goal", Coleby said.

Kansas went into Sunday evening's game with the sixth-highest winning percentage (.697) with a record of 101-44 in tournament history, while the Spartans were seventh with a record of 64-29 (.688).

"Teams are going to make big runs".

KU coach Bill Self said a strong desire to play in Sprint Center might have affected the Jayhawks negatively early on in Sunday's game. I was a little too amped up. "There was some pressure".

All eyes are on returning to Kansas City and playing the Purdue Boilermakers. You've got to do the things to get there. The Wolverines are the real deal, and they're here to dance.

Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points and Deng Adel had 16 points to lead Louisville (25-9), which had made the Sweet 16 in its last four NCAA Tournament appearances. Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford and Nick Ward who all played big roles as rookies for the Spartans and helped the squad overcome the loss steady senior scorer Eron Harris to a season-ending injury in February.

And while Lagerald Vick's technical foul seemed to be flimsy, Self allowed as how he must have "lost his mind there for a little bit", or it wouldn't have been called.

Guard Josh Jackson led Kansas with 23 points. Another 9-0 run by Kansas would open up a 15-point lead. KU grabbed a 13-point lead at 4:41 on a three by Graham to make it 80-67. And, you know, it just carries on to the games. "So it was just really fun to be able to go out there and play against those guys and really proud to see them here and having success". The pace was faster than the final score indicated even in number of points. Shot selection wasn't great.

Tyler Dorsey hit a contested go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 38.4 seconds to play, E.C. Matthews airballed a long 3 in the waning moments trying to force overtime, and third-seeded OR rallied in the second half to beat upstart No. 11 Rhode Island on Sunday. "Certainly that's a tribute to the skill set over here", Self added.

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