Tulsa, Okla. After advancing to Sunday’s second round, the Jayhawks (29-4) were able to sit back and watch the final game of the day at BOK Center while waiting to see who they would play.
For the second year in a row, the Jayhawks’ second-round foe will be a team that has reached a Final Four more recently than Kansas, as No. 9 seed Michigan State knocked off No. 8 Miami, 78-58, in Friday's final game at BOK Center. Last season, KU knocked off UConn in the second round in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Jayhawks will face Michigan State at 4:15 p.m. Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
The Spartans, whom Jackson grew up rooting for as a child in Detroit, overcame a slow start and early 17-5 hole to roar to victory. MSU (20-14) led by 11 at halftime and used efficient offense and tough defense to run away from the Hurricanes.
For Jackson, the opportunity to play Michigan State goes well beyond facing a childhood favorite. Jackson has a few friends on this MSU roster and he’s looking forward to facing them.
“Being able to play against those guys would be fun,” said Jackson, who listed MSU’s Miles Bridges, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston among his friends-turned-foes. “I don’t really think I have much at stake against Michigan State. Every game I come out and play I’m gonna give it my all and try to play my best.”
Kansas is 1-1 all-time against Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament, with both prior meetings coming in the Sweet 16 (96-86, overtime win in Kansas City, Mo., in 1986 and a 67-62 loss in 2009 in Indianapolis) and 5-7 all-time against the Spartans overall. Self and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo have faced off a dozen times, with Izzo owning a 7-5 edge, including a 4-2 mark against Self at Kansas.
— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com's live coverage.