Tom Izzo’s young squad came together, led by Nick Ward and Miles Bridges, and “threw the diapers out,” as the Big Ten Network’s Allison Hayes says in this postgame interview with Izzo:
The coach doesn’t miss a beat and says he agrees with the assessment.
“They grew a low (today),” he says. “They’ve been growing for a month. The last 10 games we’ve been much better. It didn’t always show — we got beat by 28 or something at Michigan — but I felt like we were getting better. The process was slow, it’s never as easy as I want or our fans want, but I did see us getting better.”
Izzo says this week in particular the team was able to be better focused.
“They know at Michigan State this is a special time of year,” says Izzo. “The pressure has been on them for a month to get into the tournament. And yet, getting in at our place, that (alone) isn’t such a good deal.”
He says the biggest change the team made is that they were able to reduce the number of turnovers. That will be one of several key factors in the team’s next game against the Kansas Jayhawks.
The Spartans are eight-point underdogs in the second round game. Tipoff is tomorrow, 5:15 p.m. at the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa. CBS will handle broadcast duties.