Michigan State Basketball: Kansas Preview and Prediction

Izzo now holds a 4-2 record against Self's Jayhawks, an impressive mark considering all but one of those games have come right down to the wire. "You know what? I was assistant, but I was so far down in seniority that I sat in the end zone about 15 rows up".

Michigan State shot just 30 percent from 3-point range against Miami, a number that is going to have to be higher if they want to pull off the upset. They accounted well for themselves, especially freshman guard Nick Ward, who led Michigan State with 19 points in the first round victory. "Everybody stormed the court".

While the Spartans have a deep bench and can play a number of styles, Self said he expected a fast-paced game and emphasized that KU would have to be sound defensively, all over the floor, throughout the game.

The game served as a good warm-up practice for Sunday, as Kansas hasn't played a game in 8 days after a surprisingly early conference tournament exit. The team relies heavily on freshmen as Miles Bridges leads the team in points (16.7) and rebounds (8.3). For that to happen they'll need to accomplish these three things: get off to a fast start, contain Kansas leading-scorer Frank Mason, and take advantage of Jayhawk turnovers. They were assistant coaches who watched as between 10 and 20 forgotten seconds allowed the top-seeded Jayhawks to rally and send the game into overtime, where they defeated Jud Heathcote's fifth-seeded Spartans, 96-86. They played a lot of the best teams in the country and they lost to most of those teams but now they've emerged in the round of 32 and this matchup with Kansas on Sunday is exactly what they've been preparing for. I'm not gonna predict a number of points because you can play fast, but if you can't get a shot quick, you don't score quite as many points. There were more important things than a basketball game. Izzo, on the other hand, was a lot more generous in his assessment.

Over on the Kansas side, they're sitting at 29-4 overall on the season.

Sunday's game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Kansas Jayhawks sort of has a Final Four feel to it despite it being a second round matchup. U-M's biggest hurdle was foul trouble as Moritz Wagner was whistled for his second foul just 3:11 into the game. So playing catch up against team like this is not an option.

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As for a current member of the KU team, freshman Mitch Lightfoot recalled watching that game as a KU fan.

CARDINAL FLURRY: First-year Jacksonville State coach Ray Harper knows all about Louisville from his previous job at Western Kentucky. He continues to dominate games and this was no different.

Louisville has taken a 36-28 halftime lead over MI by hitting 3-pointers - something the Wolverines usually do. Gary Harris got the comeback started with a pair of jump shots that sparked an 8-0 run. Wilson free throws gave MI a 92-88 lead with less than five seconds to play, and the Wolverines shrugged off a last-second three-pointer to advance to Sunday's (March 19) second round against the victor of second-seeded Louisville and 15th-seeded Jacksonville State.

While he didn't play in that game, Lucas was in Atlanta for the contest.

Johnson made unofficial visits to Michigan and Michigan State, but couldn't shake the attraction of playing for Pitino.

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