All eyes will be glued here, as each team's best player plays point guard. Sam Cassell Jr. came off the bench to score 16 points and Deyshonee Much added 15.
No. 6 Southern Methodist 65, Southern California 66: Elijah Stewart hit a late 3-pointer for No. 11 seed Southern California as the Trojans upset sixth seeded SMU 66-65 Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Evans might be the fastest guard U-M has seen this season; Walton is one of the most physical the Cowboys have had to defend. Evans' estimated assist percentage is 42.9, meaning he is involved in almost half of his opponents' buckets while he's on the floor.
3 How reliant are they on Bridges and who can step up if he has an off game? It was led by Jawun Evans' 23 points.
Both teams have a potentially explosive wing.
MI toppled four more teams in the Big Ten Tournament and then made 16 three-point shots, 11 in the second half, against the Cowboys. But with his improved playmaking and defense, he is valuable in many areas. An uncharacteristic beginning for the point guard, but he and sixth-man Devon Dillard gave Oklahoma State the early lead and a position of strength in the game. Carroll also is a good offensive rebounder, at 6-feet-6, so Irvin will have to work.
The emergence of Moe Wagner and D.J. Wilson are two of the biggest reasons MI is in the position they are in right now.
The strategy helped as U-M missed a pair of front-end free throws with the lead suddenly dwindling to two, 90-88, before Wilson's conversions.More news: Gas majors seek to avert Australia shortage
ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (19-14): A young lineup is giving Izzo fits this season, especially with the team's penchant for turnovers, as Michigan State ranked next-to-last in the Big Ten in turnover margin at minus-3.2. And they hit some hard shots.
The 10th-seeded Cowboys finished the season with four straight losses and haven't won an NCAA game since 2009. It lived up to the hype as MI, seeded seventh in the Midwest region, poured home a tournament-record 16 three-pointers (16-29, .552) with a total of 16 lead changes and 12 ties throughout a frenetic 40 minutes of play.
Evans' play was mixed.
Unlike numerous other teams Michigan State has played, Miami doesn't have elite 3-point shooting ability. They went through the one, two and four seeds on their way to the title.
MI head coach John Beilein isn't usually in a laughing mood. We're breaking down every first-round game in the field of 68, plus looking ahead at which teams will make the run to the Final Four.
Ohio State and Oklahoma State will look to prove otherwise this weekend in St. Louis.
The total has gone over in 10 of Michigan State's last 12 games as an underdog. This game was not decided in the first half, it was one that had a lot going on and going both ways in the final 20 minutes.