March Madness Predictions: Will Miami hold off Michigan State? 3/17/17

Michigan State: The Spartans entered Friday having lost three of their last four games, but after the slow start, they looked like their usual comfortable selves in the postseason. March is usually Tom Izzo's time to shine no matter the Spartans' regular season performance, minus last year's first round loss to Middle Tennessee.

"We were like, all right, they punched us in the mouth and everything that could happen happened and now it's our turn to make our run". "When we feed off of each other, we're hard to beat".

Bridges leads the team with 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

No. 9 seed Michigan State will face No. 1 seed Kansas in a Midwest Regional second-round game today.

While point spreads and other external factors don't have any bearing on games elsewhere, the Spartans, along with several members of the media, watched the end of Wisconsin's upset of No. 1 overall seed Villanova in their locker room and, later, fellow-Big Ten brother Northwestern, almost knocked off No. 1 Gonzaga.

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.

Friday night, after his ninth-seeded Spartans knocked off Miami to advance to Sunday's second-round showdown with top-seeded Kansas, Izzo was asked about facing Kansas and referred, without hesitation, to Self as a friend. The Maize and Blue also ranks sixth in the country in fewest fouls, committing just 15.1 per game and 11th nationally in free throw percentage, shooting a school-record 77.5 percent from the charity stripe. "We can use that again".

The Wolverines are 7-0 this season on neutral courts, with six wins coming against NCAA Tournament teams.

But they haven't had a typical Michigan State season.

Miami led 17-5 before Michigan State put together a 28-6 run, holding the Hurricanes to three field goals during a 12-minute span. Nick Ward and Miles Bridges were excellent for the Spartans, putting up 19 and 18 points in the contest, respectively. Some half-a-decade removed, he had a distinct memory of how that game went. He said he and his fellow seniors learned from players who came before them, guys who made it to Final Fours in 2014 and '15. "It makes me go out and play much more free knowing they have a lot of confidence in me".

Kansas State vs. Cincinnati at 6:27 p.m.

"Once the momentum shifted from our side, I thought we played very well the first 10 minutes, to their side, they basically totally controlled the last 10 minutes of the half", Larranaga said.

USC also rallied from a big deficit in the second half in its First Four win over Providence.

Miami's defense which had been elite all season, faltered against Michigan State.

Kansas is now 11-2 SU and 7-6 ATS against teams that made the NCAA tournament this season.

The Rams are riding an eight-game winning streak after capturing the Atlantic 10 tournament title by beating VCU. The Hurricanes reached the Sweet 16 in each of their previous two forays under Larranaga.

  • Loretta Pittman