NCAA TOURNAMENT ROUNDUP: Sizzling Michigan advances past Cowboys

The losses were all to NCAA Tournament teams. During the game Friday, a graphic showed that Phil Forte led the nation in free-throw percentage at about 96 percent.

A few minutes after Michigan State put the final touches on a 78-58 victory over Miami in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, MSU coach Tom Izzo was asked about his thoughts of Kansas.

A pair of clutch D.J.

MI had a 41-40 lead at halftime, and the second half was a furious race to the finish. Game time is yet to be determined. The Bearcats hit their first nine shots and shot 62 percent for the game.

Ja'Quan Newton scored 16 for Miami (21-12) while Davon Reed added 12 and Bruce Brown scored 11.

It proved to be the flawless formula as ninth-seeded Michigan State exploded midway through the first half and cruised to a 78-58 victory.

After Jawun Evans missed the front end of a one-and-one with the Cowboys trailing 84-79 with 1:31 to play, Walton, the MI point guard, took advantage.

OR 93, Iona 77 - With star big man Chris Boucher cheering in a bulky knee brace from the sidelines, Tyler Dorsey scored 24 points to lead four players in double figures, and No. 3 seed OR beat 14th-seeded Iona 93-77 Friday in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament's Midwest Region.

MI shook off a frustrating first half, marred by foul trouble and adjustments to OSU's fast-paced style of play, to hold a 41-40 lead at the break.

The idea of linking basketball performance to such a traumatic real-life event might seem silly if it wasn't for this: MI has played exceptionally well since March 8. MI answered loudly, asserting its long-range prowess for one of the great storylines of the tournament. The lead grew to 23 on an Ellis layup as the Spartans were never threatened the rest of the way.

It seemed every player agreed MSU's grueling travel routine in non-conference play helped ready the Spartans for big game situations.

But as good as the Cowboys were offensively, MI was just a little bit better.

Following a clutch mid-range jumper from Zak Irvin, OSU's Evans went to the free throw line with U-M holding an 84-79 lead with 1:31 left.

In his final game, Dayton's Scoochie Smith had a game-high 25 points to go along with four assists, three rebounds and two steals.

11 The Wolverines won this game on the back of their 11 second-half 3-pointers, which came on just 15 attempts. "We have so far in the second half of the year, and hopefully we can carry that momentum on the defensive side into tomorrow". MI committed just four turnovers all day, continuing its nation-low turnover ratio.

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. U-M's biggest hurdle was foul trouble as Moritz Wagner was whistled for his second foul just 3:11 into the game. The over/under total for the game is listed at 125.5 points. The Jayhawks were balanced with all five starters going for double digits in points while Frank Mason III dealt out eight assists in the opening round win.

The difference: Poise and emotion, the same components that helped MI (25-11) overcome last week's harrowing plane mishap to sweep four games in four days at the Big Ten Tournament.

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