Michigan draws Oklahoma State for NCAA Tournament; Michigan State to face Miami (FL)

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-13 00:08:38-04
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- There is plenty of Big 12 flavor in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament.
Start at the top with No. 1 seed Kansas, which was rewarded for its 13th straight regular-season conference championship by getting to play the opening round just down the road in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Jayhawks face the winner of a play-in game between North Carolina Central and UC Davis.
Big 12 Tournament champ Iowa State is the fifth seed in the region while Oklahoma State earned an at-large bid and will face Big Ten Tournament champion Michigan as the No. 10 seed.
"I was really, really surprised," Kansas coach Bill Self said, "not that they put Iowa State with us -- I think that's fine -- but they did it if both teams advanced it could happen in the Sweet 16."
The selection committee changed its guidelines a few years ago so teams from the same conference are not supposed to play each other before the tournament's second weekend.
"So I guess they followed their guideline," Self said.
The four teams advancing to the regional semifinals will meet at Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, where the Big 12 just wrapped up its tournament. And you can bet local fans, restaurants, hotels and bar owners are salivating at the idea of Kansas and Iowa State meeting there.
Louisville earned the No. 2 seed despite its early loss to red-hot Duke in the ACC Tournament, and Oregon was given the No. 4 seed after losing the Pac-12 title game to Arizona on Saturday night.
The Big Ten was well represented in the region with fifth-seeded Purdue joining the Spartans and Wolverines. Creighton earned the No. 6 seed despite struggling down the stretch, when an injury to star point guard Mo Watson forced coach Greg McDermott to shuffle around minutes.
For all those teams, there's a good chance the road to the Final Four goes through Kansas.
The Jayhawks were positioned for the No. 1 overall seed before losing to TCU in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. But they played that game without star forward Josh Jackson, who was serving a one-game suspension for a traffic incident. The freshman phenom and likely NBA lottery pick will be back on the floor when Kansas begins pursuit of its sixth national title.
"The biggest thing about getting the seed we got is we'd be playing in Kansas City," the Jayhawks' Landen Lucas said. "We're all looking forward to playing in Tulsa and seeing our fans out there."
FAMILIAR FOES: Kansas and Miami have never met in the NCAA Tournament, but the Jayhawks and Spartans have plenty of history. Along with meeting regularly in the Champions Classic early in the season, they split two previous regional semifinals.
MORE SECOND-ROUND MUSINGS: Imagine a matchup between Louisville and Michigan State for the right to advance from Indianapolis. Remember, the Cardinal overcame a halftime deficit to beat the Wolverines four years ago in a dramatic national title game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
   Then there's the chance Oregon coach Dana Altman gets to face his former team. Before turning the Ducks into a perennial Pac-12 contender, Altman did the same thing during 16 years at Creighton. The Bluejays went to seven NCAA Tournaments and won more than 300 games with him on the sideline.
PLENTY OF STAR POWER: Kansas boasts not only Jackson but Frank Mason III, the front-runner for national player of the year. They are joined by Purdue standout Caleb Swanigan, Oregon guard Dillon Brooks, Big 12 Tournament MVP Monte Morris of Iowa State and Louisville sophomore Donovan Mitchell in giving the Midwest Region arguably the best collection of talent in the dance.
STYLES MAKE FIGHTS: There are intriguing clashes of style throughout the region with rough-and-tumble teams such as Michigan State and Purdue -- quintessential Big Ten bruisers -- in line to play fun-and-gun teams such as Kansas and Iowa State.
   "The NCAA Tournament probably has a lot to do with match-ups," said Danny Hurley, whose No. 11 seed Rhode Island will play Creighton. "I think we're built to compete."
BEYOND THE COURT: The Jayhawks have had a slew of legal problems that have threatened to become a distraction, while the Cardinal are back after serving a postseason ban for their escort scandal.
   A more heartwarming story line involves the Wolverines, who escaped disaster last week when their plane destined for the Big Ten Tournament skidded off the runway before takeoff. The No. 8 seed went on to win the tournament and take any drama out of the selection process.
   "We got a lot of confidence," the Wolverines' Derrick Walton said. "I think we're a really dynamic team. We can score in a lot of different ways. We think we pose a huge threat against other teams."
First Round
Thursday, March 16
At BMO Harris Bradley Center
   Purdue (25-7) vs. Vermont (29-5)
   Iowa State (23-10) vs. Nevada (28-6)
Friday, March 17
At Bankers Life Fieldhouse
   Louisville (24-8) vs. Jacksonville State (20-14)
   Michigan (24-11) vs. Oklahoma State (20-12)
At BOK Center
Tulsa, Okla.
   Kansas (28-4) vs. N.C. Central-UC Davis winner
   Miami (21-11) vs. Michigan State (19-14)
At Golden 1 Center
Sacramento, Calif.
   Oregon (29-5) vs. Iona (22-12)
   Creighton (25-9) vs. Rhode Island (24-9)
Second Round
Saturday, March 18
At BMO Harris Bradley Center
   Purdue-Vermont winner vs. Iowa State-Nevada winner
Sunday, March 19
At Bankers Life Fieldhouse
   Louisville-Jacksonville State winner vs. Michigan-Oklahoma State winner
At BOK Center
Tulsa, Okla.
   Kansas--N.C. Central-UC Davis winner vs. Miami-Michigan State winner
At Golden 1 Center
Sacramento, Calif.
   Oregon-Iona winner vs. Creighton-Rhode Island winner
At The Sprint Center
Kansas City, Mo.
Regional Semifinals
Thursday, March 23
   Purdue-Vermont--Iowa State-Nevada winner vs. Kansas-N.C. Central-UC Davis--Miami-Michigan State winner
   Louisville-Jacksonville State--Michigan-Oklahoma State winner vs. Oregon-Iona--Creighton-Rhode Island winner
Regional Championship
Saturday, March 25
   Semifinal winners
   Coral Gables, Fla., 21-11.
   Nickname: Hurricanes. Coach: Jim Larranga.
   Conference: Atlantic Coast. Bid: At large.
   Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 8.
   Tournament Record: 8-8, 8 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (69.4); Davon Reed 15.0; Ja'Quan Newton 13.4; Bruce Brown 11.9.
   Rebounds: Team (36.0); Kamari Murphy 7.5; Bruce Brown 5.8; Davon Reed 4.8.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (11.9/12.7); Ja'Quan Newton 3.6/3.3; Bruce Brown 3.2/2.1; Davon Reed 2.5/2.1.
   3-pointers: Team (.359); Davon Reed 77; Dejan Vasiljevic 51; Anthony Lawrence Jr. 34; Bruce Brown 32.
   Last Ten: 6-4.
Michigan State
   East Lansing, 19-14.
   Nickname: Spartans. Coach: Tom Izzo.
   Conference: Big Ten. Bid: At large.
   Region: East, South Midwest West. Seed: No. 9.
   Tournament Record: 63-29, 30 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (71.7); Miles Bridges 16.7; Nick Ward 13.7; Eron Harris 10.4.
   Rebounds: Team (36.7); Miles Bridges 8.3; Nick Ward 6.5; Kenny Goins 4.6.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (17.0/14.2); Cassius Winston 5.1/2.2; Lourawls Nairn Jr. 3.7/1.1; Miles Bridges 2.0/2.5.
   3-pointers: Team (.376); Miles Bridges 52; Eron Harris 43; Alvin Ellis III 41; Matt McQuaid 38; Joshua Langford 33.
   Last Ten: 5-5.
   Ann Arbor, 24-11.
   Nickname: Wolverines. Coach: John Beilein.
   Conference: Big Ten. Bid: Big Ten champion.
   Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 7.
   Tournament Record: 52-25, 26 years. Last appearance: 2016.
   Scoring: Team (74.3); Derrick Walton Jr. 15.0; Zak Irvin 12.8; Moritz Wagner 12.1; D.J. Wilson 10.4; Duncan Robinson 9.2.
   Rebounds: Team (29.0); D.J. Wilson 5.4; Derrick Walton Jr. 4.7; Zak Irvin 4.5; Moritz Wagner 4.3.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (13.5/9.8); Derrick Walton Jr. 4.6/1.8; Zak Irvin 2.9/1.9.
   3-pointers: Team (.384); Derrick Walton Jr. 87; Duncan Robinson 60; Zak Irvin 47; Moritz Wagner 44; Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman 38; D.J. Wilson 34.
   Last Ten: 8-2.
Oklahoma State
   Stillwater, Okla., 20-12.
   Nickname: Cowboys. Coach: Brad Underwood.
   Conference: Big 12. Bid: At large.
   Region: Midwest. Seed: No. 10.
   Tournament Record: 38-26, 27 years. Last appearance: 2015.
   Scoring: Team (85.5); Jawun Evans 19.0; Jeffrey Carroll 17.4; Phil Forte III 13.3.
   Rebounds: Team (36.7); Jeffrey Carroll 6.6; Mitchell Solomon 5.2; Leyton Hammonds 4.8.
   Assists/Turnovers: Team (14.7/13.2); Jawun Jones 6.2/2.8.
   3-pointers: Team (.401); Phil Forte III 84; Jeffrey Carroll 56; Leyton Hammonds 36; Jawun Jones 35.
   Last Ten: 6-4.