“He’s not intimidated by anybody”.
The cast on hand should include at least three starters from Sunday’s game against the Jayhawks.
Michigan State cut the lead down to one, 54-53, with 12:18 left in the game, but Kansas held on to its lead, going on a 13-3 run to take a double-digit lead and closing the game on another 13-3 run to put away a 90-70 win.
The Jayhawks ran like halfbacks and grunted like fullbacks.
“I feel like we’re all competitors”, Jackson said. We compete every time we play against each other. “We’re used to it”. It appeared that’s where this one was headed. Michigan State was suddenly within two possessions. “They’ll benefit from the return of 6’9″ forward Gavin Schilling from a season lost to knee injuries, which, along with the arrival of 6’10” five-star recruit Jaren Jackson, will provide the size that was glaringly missing this year.
Kansas made it through the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and picked up a head of steam in the process.
Upperclassmen. Steady guards. Three-point shooting. Jackson, who was going up against childhood friend Miles Bridges, settled down after a slow start to add 23 points.
Graham didn’t wait until his shots dropped to stiff-arm the Spartans’ hopes. Michigan State will hit a bunch of threes, build up a big lead, and KU’s comeback (and season) will fall just short.
The recruiting class and offseason adjustments will become way more critical than Michigan State’s schedule if the Spartans want to get back to pushing their season into April. He finished with two blocks and two steals while outshining the Spartans’ core of talented freshmen. All five starters scored in double figures with Frank Mason III leading the charge with 22 points and eight assists.
“Josh is a hell of a player”, Izzo said. MSU’s big men will go from being a depleted unit that was taken advantage of to being the team’s biggest strength as Ward finds himself in the thick of the Big Ten player of the year race.
“They’re one of the best teams in the country”, Izzo said. “They shot it fairly well, but they competed, they defended and they cared about the right things”.
Michigan State didn’t have a typical season by its lofty standards, losing 15 games, but this was a huge statement win for Bill Self’s team.
Swanigan was a beast against undersized Iowa State Saturday, and he’s even more of a mis-match for Kansas than was Ward and Bridges.
Time will tell if Purdue can beat KU with size.
Critics have anxious if Kansas’ lack of size would hurt it down the stretch, but it wasn’t much of an issue Sunday.
Kansas had an impressive 100-62 win over UC Davis on Friday in which the Jayhawks finally didn’t let a weaker opponent hang around.
– See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com’s live coverage.
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