Mason, who embodies that ideal as well as any player to come through the Kansas program, said that mentality starts at the top.
Before two of the best players in the country take the court against one another, let's unleash some bold predictions for the Sweet 16 clash featuring the Kansas Jayhawks and Purdue Boilermakers.
The No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region, the Jayhawks gained an edge late in the first half against ninth-seeded Michigan State and raced past the Spartans late on the way to a 90-70 victory on Sunday at the BOK Center. We got beat by some veterans that played better than us you know?
"I complain all the time about (teams) being soft, but I think historically we've had pretty tough teams (when) you compare it to everybody else", he said. I thought we tried too hard at times.
Senior point guard Frank Mason III, though he shot just 6 for 16, scored 20 points and dished five assists.
The most significant departure Izzo will have to deal with is Miles Bridges, who could very well declare for the National Basketball Association draft after putting together the best freshman season at MSU by anyone not named Magic Johnson.
MI finished 6 of 17 on 3-pointers just two days after setting a school record for 3-pointers in NCAA tourney games.
MSU ended the game on a 2:36 scoring drought.
"It feels great, just one step closer to reaching our goal", Coleby said. The Jayhawks held an 11-point lead with less than two minutes to go before the break after a 13-2 run.
Guard play for Kansas played a big role in the game, especially in the second half.
"This is what we wanted so we are finally heading back home", Lucas said of Sprint Center. Well, until recently. The Wolverines have found their groove and much like the previously mentioned Jayhawks, Michigan is going to make teams score with them in order to have a chance. "And I came out and was still just a little too excited". "There was some pressure".
Now Kansas gets to return to its home away from home in Kansas City to play in front of a friendly crowd. You've got to do the things to get there. "And I just had to realize it was just another game, and it was about Kansas basketball versus Michigan State, and it wasn't about me versus Miles". He knows all those guys.
The Jayhawks (30-4) nursed a five-point lead, 40-35, at the end of a wild first half that featured 11 lead changes and six ties. He screamed after the slam and was promptly called for a technical foul.
Mason, Jackson and Mykhailiuk each scored nine points in the first half as Kansas shot 50 percent from the floor. Another 9-0 run by Kansas would open up a 15-point lead.
Even as Jackson got more attuned to the game between the teams than his own against Bridges, he had a few lapses.
Sadly, that's how the Spartans' season concluded this afternoon when, like so many other games this year, they simply didn't have the horses to keep up with their opponents down the stretch. On their next possession, Vick laid one up to extend the lead to 10, 67-57.
But they both play like losing is not an option, and their teammates follow suit. "Certainly that's a tribute to the skill set over here", Self added.