One of the most prolific three-point shooting teams in the nation caught fire in the second half and when it came down to it, Oklahoma State was right there through the thick of things.
"Treat the beginning of the game like it's very serious, nearly like it's the last couple possessions because it's gonna matter a lot", Lucas said. The Jayhawks had no problem eliminating UC Davis 100-62.
First Walton finds Duncan Robinson in transition, then he starts showing off.
"This whole week he (Izzo) has been a mixture of a lot of love and a lot of getting after you", Winston said.
There's no secret what MI is going to do late in a game with a lead: run the clock and give Derrick Walton the ball and let him make a play. The Sweet 16 opens on Thursday. Michigan State on the other hand has nothing to lose and should be quite loose. "They're hungry, they're good and I never talk about our seeds but they're probably more like a six or a seven seed because of the way they played this year". "Feels good. Makes you feel tougher, which is always nice. We're locked in and you know that we're going to do whatever we can to get another win". Feed Ward early, and a perimeter guard needs to step up and score for the Spartans.
The Wolverines will not be the only MI team in action on Friday. And even though both the competition level and the stakes have gone up in Round 2, the emphasis for Kansas will be the same. Five Jayhawks scored in double-digits, led by Frank Mason III with 22. "It just gives us more fuel to our fire, we play with more intensity, more energy and we're not satisfied with anything". "Most importantly, I'm anxious about us winning".
"We were really shaky early", said head coach Tom Izzo. "There's a lot of similarities to the way they shot it and the way this (Michigan) team shoots it".
"I think it helps as far as the bullet points", Self said.
James Sanchez got MI on the board with a power play tally at 10:19 of the second period for the 4-1 score. The team finished the regular season by winning six of their last eight games. "Might as well do it one more time". Three years ago, the Shockers were 35-0 when they played Kentucky - also in the second round - and lost 78-76. The Spartans got revenge by defeating the Jayhawks in the 2009 regional semifinal en route to Izzo's fifth of seven Final Fours. While that could benefit Kansas, especially late in a tight game, Self cautioned against thinking the advantage of age would mean too much in this one. "But as a coach, it was Jud", Izzo said. "I think we did a great job defensively against Miami as well". "They're very capable of defeating anybody in the country, including us, and they seem to be playing pretty darn well down the stretch". It's just their second postseason matchup since that 1986 games.
Higher seeds were 6-2 Saturday.
F - Landen Lucas, 6-10, 250, Sr.
"It's win or go home man", junior guard Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn Jr. said.
G - Alvin Ellis, 6-4, 210, Sr.
This time, the lapse began two seconds into the game when freshman power forward Nick Ward was called for a rarely seen foul off the center jump.