Michigan State basketball beats USC in NCAA tournament: 3 quick takes

1. In beating USC, MSU played like a team that’s grown into squad that can be a tough out

COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’ll get tougher from here. But Michigan State on Friday looked the part of a team with some of the qualities it takes to make a run in March. Most importantly, MSU took the first step in this survive-and-advance tournament, pulling away from USC in the second half for a 72-62 first-round win, earning a second-round date with Marquette or Vermont on Sunday.

What we saw was a season’s worth of experiences propel the Spartans to victory — from Tyson Walker running the point when A.J. Hoggard found foul trouble, to Carson Cooper’s essential minutes in the second half, to Jaden Akins’ vigor and confidence on the offensive end.

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