Josh Jackson leads Kansas past Michigan State in NCAA Tournament

Miles Bridges and Tom Izzo

Miles Bridges and Tom Izzo

Josh Jackson led Kansas' offensive attack with 23 points, two steals and two blocks. The over/under total for the game is listed at 148 points.

Michigan State had arguably one of the best performances of the first round when it defeated Miami 78-58 on Friday.

Nick Ward started out the second half strong, scoring seven of Michigan State's first 13 points, but was benched after getting his third foul with 15 minutes left. Those deficiencies were on display during MSU's 90-70 loss to Kansas in the second round of the NCAA tournament Sunday. They got one of the best coaches in the country and they've got a Player of the Year candidate. "I mean it was mainly Jayhawk fans but we know the Sprint Center is going to be rocking for us".

"We've got three or four guys that can all do that, you know", Self said.

MSU and Arizona are considered the frontrunners to land Bowen, who would be able to do some of the things Bridges did for the Spartans this season as a dynamic player on the wing.

When Kansas settled down and ran sets, Michigan State struggled to limit the Jayhawks' athleticism around the rim.

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Miles Brides led the Spartans at half with 13 points while Josh Jackson led the Jayhawks with nine points each at the half. Moritz Wagner scored a career-high 26 points and D.J. Wilson sank four crucial free throws in the final seconds to preserve the victory. "I thought both teams tried real hard - I thought we tried too hard at times".

Self praised the way his team fought in a game that he noted was much closer than the 20-point gap would seem to indicate. After the slam, he apparently barked at a Spartan player was called for a technical. Plus, KU reserve forward Dwight Coleby didn't miss a beat defensively.

Every time Michigan State went on a mini run to cut the game to five points or under, Kansas, led by Frank Mason, would come right back and stretch their lead back to double digits. "Maybe more than people think we should've, but those moments helped define us when [the] game [was] on line".

"The only shame of the whole event for me is it wasn't a 20-point game", Izzo said, "and yet, the better team won tonight".

Nonetheless, look for this one to be an absolute thriller, with the first team to 85 points coming out on top and moving on to the Elite Eight. Then after a Bridges free throw, Mason scored, Jackson hit two free throws and Jackson scored another bucket.

With the 2016-2017 season ending for MSU, focus turns to recruiting where Tom Izzo is still heavily recruiting guard Brian Bowen and center Brandon McCoy who are still uncommitted and have MSU at the top of their lists.

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