Michigan State battled through injuries and a hard early-season schedule and brought a 19-14 record into the NCAA Tournament.
"We haven't accomplished the world yet", Izzo said.
CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein breaks down the 2017 men's NCAA tournament. Michigan State outscored Miami 30-8 to end the half, made nine of their last 11 shots of the half, and those early-game Hurricane heroics mattered no more. The senior's three-point play with 34.6 seconds before halftime sent MSU into the locker room leading, 38-27. Josh Jackson chipped in 17 points on 8-for-12 shooting to help the Jayhawks win their opening game of the tournament for the 11th consecutive year.
Good guard play wins games in the NCAA Tournament. This is typical of a tough, Spartan squad under Tom "I look like I'm in Perpetual Pain" Izzo. The Hurricanes made seven of their first 12 shots to open the 12 point lead. Isaiah Hicks added 17 points and Kennedy Meeks had 13 for the Tar Heels.
MI will play the victor of 2-seed Louisville and 15-seed Jacksonville State in the second round.
The dream run of 2017 continues for MI, from a plane crash to a Big Ten conference title and now a win in the best game of the tournament to this point.
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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.
Izzo admitted to being anxious about how Ward, Winston and fellow freshmen Miles Bridges and Joshua Langford would respond to their first experience in one of the greatest sporting events in the world. Miles Bridges, Nick Ward and Joshua Langford blitzed the Hurricanes for 50 points on 21-31 from the floor, had 18 rebounds, and made four of their eight three point attempts.
Seventh-seeded MI needed every point it could muster in a game that ended with a parade to the free-throw line, a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and a foe that refused to go away. In a back-and-forth game of offensive fireworks and optional defense, Oklahoma State could not keep up with the 3-point barrage.
- Miami defeated Michigan State in the only other meeting between the Hurricanes and Spartans. The lead grew to 23 on an Ellis layup as the Spartans were never threatened the rest of the way. But there's been a process to this whole thing, and I've been sticking to it and saying it. Sometimes the adversity kills you and sometimes you rise up.
"I think Kansas is a helluva team, and I think (Frank) Mason is an exceptional guard", Izzo said. "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".
"But we kept playing defense, quit turning it over and I thought executed pretty well on offense".