Sometimes you look at the result of a game and you wonder, you pick it apart, you let it keep you up nights wondering how you could have lost the game. If he has an off-game, look for Nick Ward or Josh Langford to step up. Unfortunately, so did the other side and in the end the other side had one more point than you did.
Friday's Big Dance action in the Midwest Region is tennis shoe kick started when the Michigan Wolverines and the Oklahoma State Cowboys take Bankers Life Fieldhouse floor in Indianapolis. Almost 66% of their buckets come off of an assist, which is the 2nd-highest percentage in the country. They committed more than 15 fouls in seven games against tournament teams this year, and went 1-6 in those games.
When the Cowboys cut the MI lead to 88-86 with 10 seconds remaining, Walton Jr. calmly drained both to make it a four-point game. Led by Derrick Walton Jr., who scored 26 points, MI made 11 of 15 three-pointers in the second half.
Chris Solari, who covers Michigan State for the Detroit Free Press, joined Justin Rose on Sports Buzz Live Friday morning to talk about where Michigan State could have problems.
Conference: Big 12. Bid: At large. If winning against the conference's best doesn't help a team like MI, logic would dictate that taking an automatic L wouldn't hurt them. "In the second half, I settled down".
Jeffrey Carroll, a breakout player for the Cowboys in his redshirt junior season, scored 19. "We get our strength from him and he gets his strength from us". We got a couple stops in a row, three stops in a row.
Despite the fact that 15th-seeded Middle Tennessee shocked No. 2 Michigan State in the opening round a year ago, Spartans coach Tom Izzo has a well established reputation for building a program that delves deep in to the tournament. Walton was accompanied by teammate Zak Irvin on the all tournament team, who chipped in 14.8 points and grabbed 6.5 boards per game during the four-game stretch.
But they haven't had a typical Michigan State season. The Wolverines showed some signs early on Friday of struggling to regain the urgency and grit they carried to win those four games in four days in Washington D.C. They're about pressing the pace, getting the ball to the rack and scoring in any way possible.
This is the season that saw North Carolina score 100 in regulation and lose (to Kentucky's 103), the first time in Tar Heels' history that happened. He only had 7.
" MI set an NCAA Tournament program record with 16 three-pointers". While he had 10 points, he had suffered through a lackluster first half - at least by his coach's standards.
They defend very well.
Muhammad Abdur-Rahkman hit an off balance shot, followed by Mitch Solomon, who was a major part of the Cowboys effort on both ends, hitting inside on a pass from Evans, but then the rain began.
Leading scorers: PSU-Denis Smirnov (17 goals, 26 assists), David Goodwin (10 G, 25 A), Chase Berger (11 G, 20 A), Andrew Sturtz (21 G, 10 A), Nate Sucese (14 G, 16 A).
Even before last week, the Wolverines were playing some of the best basketball in the country, which has led many to call them the hottest team in the country entering today's round of 64 matchup with Oklahoma State.
MI kept firing 3s.
Oklahoma State lost a tough one to MI, but the Cowboys' financial backers won in the process.
The Cowboys made one last attempt to come back in the final minute, creeping within two points twice - first on a layup by Davon Dillard and the second on a layup by Jawun Evans.