Michigan State just keeps finding ways to win in the NCAA Tournament. On Sunday, the Spartans took down the Golden Eagles 69-60, thanks in large part to Tyson Walker. The senior guard had 23 points, 2 assists, and went 7-8 from the free throw line. The overall message that continues to get reiterated is: don’t doubt Tom Izzo.
Izzo continues to be a staple in the NCAA for Michigan State. A man who isn’t afraid to display his emotions for the world to see. Izzo is a person who has lived life to the fullest and given everything he possibly can to Michigan State University. It seems that every time MSU is down and out, Izzo is able to bring them back.
Whether it was the loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament, the collapse to Iowa on the road, or the heartbreaking loss to Michigan, Michigan State has bounced back every single time after those losses and proven that they learn from their mistakes.
The most astonishing part of Michigan State’s victory was the Spartans going 2-16 from beyond the arc. The only other win in which MSU scored fewer than three 3-pointers was against USC in the round of 64. Walker went 0-3, Malik Hall was 0-4, and Jaden Akins went 0-5 from the three. The Spartans spectacular defense made up for the low 3-point shooting percentage.
When it came down the stretch for the Spartans, they were able to come up with big stops and a couple of massive offensive boards. Offensive rebounds have been a struggle, and MSU has grabbed 10 and 36 total rebounds. Mady Sissoko and Joey Hauser both had 10 boards and continue to be physical in the post. Especially for Sissoko, who had a strong start to the season and then really struggled. The junior center has been much more physical and confident since the start of the tournament, which is exactly what Spartan fans want to see.
Learning from their mistakes throughout the regular season and taking those corrections to the tournament is why MSU is in the Sweet 16. Kansas State is up next for the Spartans on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. It will be the battle of the guards once again. Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson were both problematic and will both be the main focus for MSU to stop them.
Whatever happens next weekend, Tom Izzo’s team remains the last remaining Big Ten team in the tournament.
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