Guerin Emig: Kansas' Josh Jackson spectacular in his basketball sanctuary

20 March, 2017, 08:00 | Author: Eloise Marshall

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.

The nine-seed Michigan State Spartans face the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. The Spartans were a slight underdog going in and trailed 10-0 to start the game.

The Jayhawks' victory assured KU a spot in Thursday's Sweet 16 contest against No. 4-seed Purdue at the Sprint Center, where KU was bounced by TCU in a Big 12 tournament quarterfinal game on March 9.

A healthy off-season of development for McQuaid and Kyle Ahrens should help them take the next step towards consistency. I thought we tried too hard at times. "I've been knowing those guys for a long time, and one thing that I do know about both of them is they both really like to win".

Kansas dispatched the 16-seed UC Davis Aggies on Friday, 100-62, in the first round. He added three rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

The Jayhawks led 54-53 with 12 minutes to play when Jackson recognized he was isolated against Spartans reserve Kyle Aherns. Landen Lucas leads in rebounds with 8.4 per game while Mason leads in assists wtih 5.1 per game.

Although there have been some Big Ten upsets thus far (Wisconsin over Villanova), Michigan State basketball has been given little to no chance to beat No. 1 seed Kansas on Sunday. Kansas regularly lets teams hang around. "But I'm always going to make the best decision for myself (going forward)". Nick Ward will also have a big game in the post, but it will be all for naught. I think Michigan State finds a way to keep this game interesting.

MI senior point guard Derrick Walton Jr. finished with just 10 points on an ugly 3 of 13 day.

Sure, all those teams had plenty of blue chip underclassmen, but they rode the shoulders of their upperclassmen guards. Jackson, being a Detroit kid and a freshman, knew Michigan State freshmen Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston well. "Now, that doesn't mean we have an advantage or anything like that, but you would think that would be a nice reward to having a good season".

Miles Bridges was one of the best freshmen basketball players in the country this season.

Jackson led the way with 23 points.

If Lucas is performing at this high of a level while staying out of foul trouble-he did pick up four personals against Michigan State-he's a good bet to at least make Swanigan work for whatever offensive production he gets, while keeping the Boilermakers' star honest on the other end of the floor as well. But Mason responded with a jumper, and Graham found Mykhailiuk in transition for a highlight lob-to-dunk play that made the KU lead 40-29. A lot of possibly-NBA-bound players would have called off the dogs and sat the rest of the way, but Bridges battled and ended up with 22 points and 8 rebounds.

And maybe no moment spoke to the folly of that more than when Bridges twice thrust his chest into 5-11 guard Frank Mason after a first-half layup by Mason gave KU a 21-20 lead.

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