That run set the tone for the remainder of the evening.
The win came a year after the Spartans suffered a shocking first-round NCAA Tournament loss as a No. 2 seed, and after they trailed 17-5 early in the game.
Jawun Evans scored the earth racing down for a lay up, putting Oklahoma State up 40-38 with 37 seconds left, but Mitchell Solomon fouled Derrick Walton Jr. on a three attempt and the free throws fell through, putting MI up 41-40 at the break. All together they'll have to construct a solid 40-minute effort, and that kind of performance starts with a great first five or 10 minutes for the Spartans.
"Then again, we played three teams during the year that were ranked No. 1 at one time". Give me Kansas to cover.
This is Michigan State's 31 NCAA Tournament appearance.
Against the Bruins, there was no time to dwell on any mistake, missed shot or failed opportunity during the back-and-forth affair because the ball was immediately heading the other way. The Spartans trailed by 12 points in the first half but rebounded for an 11-point lead at halftime and cruised down the stretch for the win.
"We had enough firepower to withstand their incredible offensive talent and get enough points", MI coach John Beilein said. "They're gonna understand what we do well (and) try to take it away".
"You go 11-for-15, that's hard enough to do in a gym by yourself", Oklahoma State's head coach Brad Underwood said. Kansas also has talented freshman wing Josh Jackson, who averages 16.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Jeffrey Carroll, a breakout player for the Cowboys in his redshirt junior season, scored 19.
"They really deserve it", Beilein said. "There's some downhill guards that don't see the floor and (Evans) sees the floor like insane", Beilein said.
They'll be gearing up to play the Miami Hurricanes of the ACC.
Michigan's three-point shooting reached it's peak with 9:12 left to in regulation as Michigan's Walton Jr. nailed a trey in the eye of Evans.
While the game was important for building Self's credibility with his players, it also announced Simien's status as one of the best players in college basketball.
"It just comes with experience".
"After that first seven or eight minutes, I thought we played some of the best basketball we've played, not only this year but in a couple of years, Izzo said".
"It's about execution and being in position to even execute in the first place".
Coming into this NCAA tournament, Michigan State had lost three of its previous four games.
Sophomore Vince Pedrie wasted little time in the second period pushing the Penn State lead to 4-0 as he let loose a one-timer from the left point right off the faceoff. I think, from the tip, it's gonna feel like every possession is the most important one. "What's happened in the past is in the past at this point". "You know what? I was assistant, but I was so far down in seniority that I sat in the end zone about 15 rows up".
No. 7 MI vs.