March 18th, 2017

Box Score

Michigan State explodes after slow start, rolls into second round with win over Miami MLive
For about eight minutes Friday night, Michigan State looked like an unmitigated disaster.
And then, almost on a dime, Tom Izzo’s Spartans turned into a war machine.

2017 NCAA Tournament Recap: Michigan State shoots way past Miami, 78-58 Land of 10
It took a while, but No. 9 seed Michigan State looked like Michigan State usually does in the NCAA Tournament and easily dispatched of No. 9 seed Miami (Fla.) 78-58 in a first round contest on Friday night.

MSU shakes off bad start, blows away Miami in NCAA tournament, 78-58 Detroit Free Press
Things couldn’t have started worse for Michigan State. A foul 2 seconds into the game, on the one player – Nick Ward – who the Spartans could not afford to get into early trouble. Ten straight points by Miami followed, along with a bevy of MSU turnovers. Then a double-digit deficit. The young Spartans looked visibly rattled. That took 10 minutes. It took 10 more minutes for their freshmen to flip it entirely.

Michigan State overcomes slow start, thumps Miami Detroit News
For nearly 10 minutes on Friday night, it looked like Michigan State’s NCAA Tournament run was going to be another short one. No. 8 seed Miami scored the first 10 points of the game and led by 12 at one point as the ninth-seeded Spartans were turning the ball over, missing shots and looking like they’d lose in the first round for the second straight season.

MSU defeats Miami in the NCAA Tournament, will face No. 1 Kansas State News
MSU men’s basketball thrives and advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after defeating the Miami Hurricanes, 78-58. The Spartans will play the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Three Takeaways: MSU Rallies Early To Rout Miami in NCAA Tournament, 78-58 The Only Colors
The phrase is “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” and thank God it is because the start of this was SUPER ugly. Good thing it didn’t stay that way. Anyways, I have to get to celebrating this win so let’s get into Tom Izzo’s 14th tournament win as an underdog.

The freshmen rule the night for Michigan State in impressive romp MLive
All week long Tom Izzo talked about inexperience. His freshmen basically told him not to worry so much. On Friday, it really was as simple as Michigan State trusting its best players — its freshmen — to carry the load when things got difficult. After falling down 19-7, MSU ripped off a 30-8 run to close the half. Miles Bridges, Nick Ward, Cassius Winston and Joshua Langford carried the weight — scoring 25 of those points.

Ward leads Michigan State’s furious rally past Miami, 78-58
Tom Izzo wasn’t sure if his talented but inexperienced freshmen were ready to abandon their more comfortable up-tempo ways and play ”smash mouth” basketball. Two of those freshmen showed they could play any way they wanted in their NCAA Tournament debuts, leading the ninth-seeded Spartans (20-14) to an opening-round 78-58 win over No. 8 seed Miami on Friday night.

Tom Izzo explains his team’s 78-58 win over Miami (Fla.) Land of 10
Michigan State opened up the NCAA Tournament by beating Miami (Fla.) 78-58 on Friday night. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo explained how the Spartans picked up an easy victory, why the play of freshman forward Nick Ward showed leadership and more.

Spartans Dominate Canes Despite Slow Start, Advance to Round of 32 Impact Sports
It started off like a bad dream. It was Middle Tennessee State all over again. A nightmare. No. 9 Michigan State fell flat on their faces out of the gate against No. 8 Miami (FL), allowing the Hurricanes to storm out to a 15-3 lead. Maybe the Spartans really were just too young and inexperienced. Maybe the lack of size and depth really would be the downfall of this team. Maybe another first round exit really was in the cards for head coach Tom Izzo and company. But then, MSU woke up.

Winston, Langford throw ‘coming-out party’ for Spartans Detroit News
There was plenty of praise to go around on Friday night outside of the Michigan State locker room. The ninth-seeded Spartans had just overcome an early 10-point deficit to bounce back and roll over eight seed Miami, 78-58, and advance to the second round in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament behind big nights from Nick Ward (19 points, seven rebounds) and Miles Bridges (18 points, nine rebounds).

Niyo: MSU freshmen shake off stage fright in a hurry Detroit News
Tom Izzo thought he’d seen it all in a Hall of Fame coaching career. But this was something new, all right. Right off the opening tip in Michigan State’s NCAA first-round tournament game Friday night at the BOK Center, there was a whistle. Freshman Nick Ward was called for a silly foul 2 seconds into the game. And the look on Izzo’s face on the visitors’ bench was one of utter disbelief.

Freshman Joshua Langford wakes up, helps put away Miami Detroit Free Press
Michigan State’s shockingly slow start had given way to overwhelming confidence. But Tom Izzo wanted more. And he wanted it from Joshua Langford. “Coach kind of challenged him in the locker room that he wasn’t playing his best in the first half, taking some wild shots,” fellow freshman Cassius Winston said. “He knows what he’s capable of, we all know what he’s capable of. And he went out there and showed it.”

Grinz On Green: After Early Struggles, Spartans Cruise
Michigan State got its bad stretch of basketball against Miami out of the way early in its NCAA Tournament first-round game at the BOK Center Friday night. In previous big games against Arizona, Kentucky, Baylor and Duke, the Spartans hung tough with the high-octane competition, only to be done in by three- or four-minute lapses that ultimately cost them the game.

Couch: For this MSU team, Friday’s NCAA tourney showing is a big deal Lansing State Journal
It’s true, as Tom Izzo said Friday night, that winning a single NCAA tournament game isn’t big deal for Michigan State’s basketball program. Except that this one was a big deal. For this MSU team. For this group of players. For their Hall of Fame coach, too.

Tom Izzo rolls with his best players and Michigan State’s freshmen don’t let him down MLive
Nick Ward threw his hands up in disbelief, wondering what happened. Miles Bridges asked out loud to no one in particular: “Wow, Nick, are you serious?” Tom Izzo? He just buried his head in his hands and probably wondered where the nearest exit was. He would later say he was literally too mad at his freshman big man to even provide instruction. This all took place two seconds into the game.

Michigan State’s grit shows it finally grew up in NCAAs win over Miami Detroit Free Press
They were warming up the bus to the airport not 7 minutes into the game Friday. Or they should’ve been, anyway. Michigan State was that bad. And tight. And sloppy. Which wasn’t completely surprising to Tom Izzo. His freshmen-dominated team may have criss-crossed the country this winter to play some of the best teams in college basketball.

MSU overcomes early deficit, rolls to 78-58 win over Miami Spartan Tailgate
For a while Friday night, it looked like Michigan State’s trip to Tulsa would be a short one. As it turns out, the Spartans plan on sticking around for a while. Trailing 17-5 less than seven minutes into the game, 9-seed MSU outscored 8-seed Miami 53-21 over the next 22 minutes of game action to open up a 20-point lead and cruise to a 78-58 win.

‘Mature’ MSU freshmen carry Spartans into Second Round Spartan Tailgate
Watching the first seven minutes of 9-seed Michigan State’s game against 8-seed Miami on Friday night in Tulsa, it was clear which team had the most experience. The Hurricanes, led by junior point guard Ja’Quan Newton and senior wing Davon Reed, jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first 3:24. A little more than three minutes later, it was 17-5 game and appeared the young Spartans were going to get run out of the gym at the BOK Center.