Jackson's strong second half lifts Kansas past Spartans
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Josh Jackson scored 14 of his 23 points in the second half to help Kansas pull away late and reach the Sweet 16 for a second straight year with a 90-70 victory over Michigan State on Sunday.
Frank Mason III added 20 points for the top-seeded Jayhawks (30-4), who have advanced to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament in nine of coach Bill Self's 14 seasons.
Devonte' Graham added 18 points and Landen Lucas had 10 for the Jayhawks, who shot 53.1 percent (34 of 64) in the win.
Miles Bridges scored 22 points to lead Michigan State (20-15) despite leaving briefly in the first half with an injury. Nick Ward also finished in double figures with 13 points and Joshua Langford had 10 for the Spartans.
Michigan State entered Sunday following a dominating win over Miami in the opening round, a victory that improved the school to 14-10 as a lower seed in the NCAA Tournament under Izzo — the most wins by a lower-seeded school in tournament history.
The Spartans certainly played like anything but an underdog well into the second half against the regular-season Big 12 Conference champions, closing Kansas' lead to 54-53 following a basket by Alvin Ellis.
Jackson took over from there, scoring eight of the next 10 points for the Jayhawks as they pushed their lead back to 64-57. He put the exclamation point on his strong second half with a drive down the middle of the lane and powerful one-handed dunk with 2:05 remaining.