MSU will play Friday at Little Caesars Arena against Bucknell. Because of the vagaries of the schedule, the Cornhuskers only had one game each against the four Big Ten teams that everyone considers a lock to make the tournament - Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State and Michigan.
"Our eyes aren't lying to us", ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said. "That was my ultimate goal the day I got this job: Can we make this a consistent victor?" Champions are made in the offseason and the work began during the summer with individual workouts. "Good coach - I don't know if he's great - good coach, tremendous experienced backcourt, they've got an National Basketball Association player". The Buckeyes entered play 16-0-3 when scoring first and 14-0 when leading after one period. "We don't want to be a team that showed up and wasn't ready to play, we want to make sure we're prepared to give our best against MI". Additionally, this squad has the most National Basketball Association level talent all at the same time, arguably that Tom Izzo has ever had.
"We really think this game is a microcosm of life and it's not about the end result of a game, it's how we position ourselves for the rest of our lives".
The Hall of Fame coach might be right about defense not being an area of concern.
In the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament last week, against a 23-win team, she scored 48 points, more than any player in the entire country has scored in any game this season. "The teams that go in clicking and playing their game the best are the ones that win games". MSU is motivated to excel in March after going one-and-done in the 2016 Big Ten dance and getting dumped in the second round a year ago.
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Oklahoma staggered to the finish line, losing eight of its last 10 games.
When picking the Final Four, remember the committee often gets it right: Of the 116 spots in the Final Four since 1989, only 12 were filled by teams worse than a No. 5 seed, including No. 7 SC previous year.
Sophomores Miles Bridges and Joshua Langford have also had their struggles on offense lately. I like the Rams in this games as they have been the more consistent team this season. Now comes the time to see if the typical story arc is completed (we chronicled this in detail earlier this season). We looked at our offense.
"Nothing is gonna cause us to lose but us", Izzo said. "And the ball screens, I mean - hell, first half MI shot 31 percent".