Sport

MI beat Oklahoma State and might be March's hottest team

MI beat Oklahoma State and might be March's hottest team

MI was the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors against OSU, playing its best game on a recent stretch where the Wolverines ran all the way to a Big 10 Tournament title. "It was fun to see that bunch of guys, their character, getting down like that and bouncing back, it showed something about their DNA and I think it showed something about all they've been through".

"Before we got on the plane", Simpson said, "the wind was insane".

Tom Izzo was anxious his freshmen night not handle their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament so well.

OSU was ideal in 10 trips to the charity stripe in the opening half, but U-M held a distinct advantage in turnovers, committing just two while forcing eight as the Wolverines converted the miscues into 10 points.

Bridges took a pass from Langford for a reverse layup with 10:38 to go, sparking the 30-8 closing run to the half in which the Spartans made 11 of their final 18 shots.

Once the Spartans started making shots on Friday against Miami, they never let up.

But Michigan was absolutely on fire from downtown in the second half, preventing the Cowboys from riding an efficient offensive performance. It lived up to the hype as MI, seeded seventh in the Midwest region, poured home a tournament-record 16 three-pointers (16-29, .552) with a total of 16 lead changes and 12 ties throughout a frenetic 40 minutes of play.


The strength of the Cardinals is their play on the defensive end, holding opponents to 65.8 points per game. But Walton and forward D.J. Wilson would close out the game from the free throw line going 4-for-4 to ice the win for the Wolverines.

The Jayhawks have a Sunday clash with the Michigan State Spartans, who got 19 points from Nick Ward in an easy 78-58 victory against Miami. Kendall Pollard added 13 points in his collegiate finale.

Michigan State kept pouring it on in the second half and had the lead up to 49-32 when Langford scored nine of 11 points.

Jawun Evans led the Cowboys, almost posting a triple-double in a losing effort with 23 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds as OSU's first season under Brad Underwood came to an end.

They'd been on plenty of big stages throughout the season, played in places like Madison Square Garden and faced a long list of highly rated teams like Kentucky, Duke, Arizona and Baylor.

The Hurricanes came out with boundless energy and dominated the first eight minutes, using tenacious defense to race to a 10-0 lead which widened to 17-5. Barford contributed 12 of his 20 points after halftime, including a pair of game-clinching free throws with 18.3 seconds remaining.

"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. Jackson grew up a Michigan State fan. Mustangs star Semi Ojeleye scored a game-high 24 points, but it wasn't enough to avoid the crushing upset. Sometimes the adversity kills you and sometimes you rise up. "I think this team in the last month has really risen up". "No matter whatever happens now, they responded, they kind of proved to themselves, against a good-quality team, that they could get down and bounce back". John Beilein's teams typically abide by a high-volume outside-shooting philosophy, but Friday took things to another level.


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