Michigan State challenged with containing Zion Williamson

Posted at 7:41 AM, Mar 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-31 07:41:26-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Zion Williamson is must see TV.  The Duke freshman phenom has scored more points through three games of the NCAA than any freshman in college basketball history.

Michigan State is charged with finding a way to defend him in the East Regional Final on Sunday night. Zion Williamson is averaging almost 27 points a game and shoots 65 percent from the floor in this NCAA Tournament.

"He's not Superman, but he's damn close" Spartans head coach Tom Izzo said.  "We're just going to have to figure out a way.  I think most people have, that great players usually take more than one person to cover them."

Michigan State sophomore Xavier Tillman might find himself matched up on Zion Sunday night and the Grand Rapids native is taking realistic approach to the challenge.

"He dunks on everybody that is part of the game" Tillman said.  "Especially when you are playing against him, that is expected, as a matter of fact, in the timeout you might want to laugh at yourself like this is going to blowup so if you have that type of attitude them it helps you play on a lot."

One aspect that could help the Spartans is there ability to change up defenders and help when necessary.

"It is obviously a game of matchups because of how good they are one-on-one" Michigan State freshman Aaron Henry said.  "If we guard them five-on-five and not just one-on-one I think that will be better for us because help defense is going to be key, being in the gaps is going to be key because they are so good at getting in the paint, just playing together on both ends of the floor is going to be huge for us."

While the Michigan State is aware of the challenge that awaits it, Cassius Winston has the attention of Zion.

"Michigan State is Michigan State" Williamson said.  "They are their own unique team with a great guard, Winston, he's the leader of that team and we have a big assignment ahead of us."

When Tom Izzo was asked if he has seen someone that reminds him of Zion, he didn't hesitate with his answer.

"You all know I'm a big football fan" Izzo stated.  "Khalil Mack is a guy I look at and say, geez, if I could borrow somebody from the Bears, maybe we could cover him. He's an incredible athlete. "

Tipoff at Capital One Arena is schedule for 5:05 p.m. on Sunday with the winner advancing to the final four in Minneapolis.