After an impressive blowout win against the Miami Hurricanes on Friday, the Spartans fell to the top ranked Kansas Jayhawks in a 90 to 70 loss on Sunday. Although the score shows it was an easy Kansas victory, this was not the case. Michigan State was in the game until the closing minutes of the 2nd round match-up but they did not have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Jayhawks.
Josh Jackson led Kansas with 23 points, shooting 9-for-16 from the field but he did have plenty of help from Big 12 player of the year Frank Mason III. Mason, a senior guard from Petersburg, Virginia, finished the game with 20 points to go along with his five assists but his most impressive stat was that he committed no turnovers in his 36 minutes of play. Devonte’ Graham chipped in with 18 points, four assists and three huge steals to help seal Kansas’ sweet 16 bid.
Unfortunately for the Spartans star freshman Miles bridges just didn’t have enough help to pull off the upset against a deep Kansas team. Miles finished the evening and possibly his last college game with 22 points and eight rebounds in 34 minutes. Fellow freshman forward, Nick Ward helped with his own 13 points and four rebounds but he was limited to 20 minutes due to being in foul trouble for majority of the game. In his defense, a couple of the fouls were questionable but he still needs to do a better job of keeping out of foul trouble if he wants to be able to help his team win.
The Spartans, who had a season plagued with injuries briefly lost Miles Bridges and Lourawls Nairn Jr. but both were able to make it back into the game after a few minutes. Nairn was not of much help finishing the game with no points and only one assist in 14 minutes. Miles Bridges only missed a couple of minutes but he was definitely in pain for the remainder of the game. After the halftime break, he came back on the court and had to be stretched out by the team’s medical staff. He was also noticeably grimacing while he was shooting around before the start of the 2nd half. The Spartans were already without Gavin Schilling and Eron Harris due to season ending injuries so the team was a little used to playing down a couple guys.
Although the Spartans season has come to an end there is still a lot to be excited about. This was one of the best freshman classes that Michigan State has ever had and they have another strong class coming in next year. One of the biggest questions for the Spartans is if they will be with or without star forward Miles Bridges. If Bridges decides to join an already deep NBA draft class, then he will likely be a lottery pick but if he answers the prayers of many Spartan fans and chooses to come back for a sophomore year, then Michigan State will be a championship contender next year.