Michigan St. prevails, ousts top-seeded UVa

Michigan State Knocks Off Virginia

 

THE BIG APPLE – Michigan State turned the defensive tables on Virginia, and the Spartans advanced to the Elite Eight, placing them back in a place the place they've had a number of success.

Branden Dawson had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spartans compelled prime-seeded Virginia right into a horrible shooting efficiency in a sixty one-fifty nine victory Friday evening to advance to East Regional final of the NCAA event.

The fourth-seeded Spartans (29-8) will play Connecticut (29-eight) on Sunday with a Closing 4 berth at stake. The seventh-seeded Huskies beat third-seeded Iowa State 81-seventy six earlier Friday.

Michigan State overcame a horrible begin to the second half after which withstood a late run by the Cavaliers (30-7) to advance to the regional finals for the eighth time since 1999 – all underneath coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans have a 6-1 report in those games, and in 2000 they went on to win all of it.

Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon every had 17 factors for Virginia, which turned the second No. 1 seed to be eradicated, joining Wichita State.

Adreian Payne had 16 points for Michigan State, and his three-pointer with 1:29 left gave the Spartans the lead for good at 54-fifty one. After a miss by Brogdon, the 6-foot-10 Payne turned point guard, discovering Dawson with a line-drive lob pass for a dunk with fifty two seconds to go.

Harris hit a three with 39 seconds left to bring the Cavaliers within 56-fifty four.

Payne found one other way to assist the Spartans, making two free throws with 32 seconds left for a 58-fifty four lead.

Brogdon hit a 3 with 1.1 seconds left to deliver Virginia within 60-59. Gary Harris made one in every of two free throws to make it sixty one-fifty nine, and Virginia's last attempt was effectively off the mark.

Michigan State got here up with the sort of defensive effort that Virginia is understood for. The Spartans held the Cavaliers to 35.1 % taking pictures (20-of-fifty seven), nicely off the 45.7 % they shot during the season and nowhere near the 54.3 % they shot of their two previous NCAA event games.

"I believe I undoubtedly should credit their defense," Brogdon stated. "They have lots of good athletes. They contest pictures. However we also missed some easy layups inside for positive. However I am unable to take away from their defense."

Dawson, who averages 11 points per sport, has scored in double figures in six straight games, and he had a career-high 26 points in the third-round win over Harvard. He missed 9 games this season with a broken proper hand, an harm he inflicted on himself when he hit a table while watching movie.

"It was powerful, being out for those 9 games," Dawson mentioned. "For me, simply making the dangerous choice that I made, I learned from it rather a lot. That did not stop me from coming in and working onerous, and I believe that being out for these 9 games, I just advised myself that my team wants me, and I just have to step up and be a man. And that is what I did."

Izzo called Dawson "a freak athlete," each in strength and athletic skill.

"He isn't been an excellent shooter. He's worked arduous on it," Izzo mentioned. "I advised him God may need taken his hand when he broke it, however he gave him a soar shot when he returned, as a result of he's loads better shooter."

Payne missed seven games with a proper foot sprain, and Gary Harris and Keith Appling were bothered a lot of the season with nagging injuries. For the reason that Huge Ten tournament started and the Spartans did not have much hassle profitable it, everyone has been wholesome.

"They have expertise and they're a bodily workforce. I believe they're taking part in the perfect ball," Virginia coach Tony Bennett mentioned. "Dawson makes all the difference; he did as we speak. He was a matchup downside for us."

Michigan State began the second half by missing seven of its first eight photographs and committing 5 turnovers. Virginia took advantage to show a 31-27 halftime deficit right into a 38-34 lead.

"I believed the beginning of the second half, I think we had five turnovers within the first six, seven minutes," Izzo stated. "They regarded like they were actually operating. They have been cranking that offense up… I give our guys lots of credit."

The Spartans went on a thirteen-2 run to go up 49-42 with 6:10 to go.

Virginia, the Atlantic Coast Convention regular-season and tournament champion, answered with a 7-0 run to tie the sport at 51 with 1:51 left, after which Payne accounted for Michigan State's next seven points.

Michigan State shot 44.7 % (21-for-47) from the sphere and was able to score simply greater than the 55.5 points per game Virginia had allowed all season in leading the nation in that statistic.

The Spartans, who started the season 18-1 and spent three weeks at No. 1 in the Associated Press Prime 25, shot 52.three percent of their past 4 games.

"It is life," Bennett mentioned of the loss that ends the season for the Cavaliers and the careers of seniors Joe Harris, Akil Mitchell and Brogdon. "We had so many good things occur this 12 months. Unbelievable things. That is part of it."

These were the first NCAA tournament games performed at Madison Square Backyard since 1961.

 

Brooks: Durant could be scoring even more

LOS ANGELES – With the NBA season heading down the stretch and the MVP race seemingly a two-identify toss-up between LeBron James and Kevin Durant, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Durant might put up even greater point totals if he selected.

"Let's face it: If he needed to attain a bunch of points or greater than he's scoring now, he actually could do that," Brooks said earlier than the Thunder played the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. "His assist level has gone up, he impacts the game. Defensively, he impacts the sport. He can guard 1 via 5. So a variety of issues that he does (are) all about the team."

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant entered Sunday leading the league with 31.8 points per sport, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks says that complete could possibly be even greater if the star forward selected.

Durant entered Sunday's game averaging a profession-excessive 31.eight points per game, however his 5.5 assists per sport are additionally a career-best mark for the seven-yr veteran.

On Sunday he had a triple-double through three quarters and finished with 27 factors, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in the Thunder's 114-one hundred ten loss to the Lakers.

While Durant leads the league with 10 video games of 40 or extra points this season, Brooks said the rangy ahead really stood out with his all-round recreation while Russell Westbrook was sidelined with a knee harm for 2 months.

"When he was out, (Durant) undoubtedly needed to proceed to guide us," Brooks stated. "Not solely on the courtroom, but off the court. Simply from the emotional standpoint of losing Russell, he needed to wrap that type of stress around his recreation and proceed to work our approach as a team through that. It is not simple dropping gamers, (particularly) a dynamic player like Russell is. However Kevin got here in and led us.

"He improved his defense and his playmaking, the ball was in his arms and the selections have been extra so in his palms and he did an excellent job with that. With including Russell now, it gives us two dynamic gamers, and that's higher. That's better for us because you possibly can't load up on one. The thing about KD, he knows that he has the flexibility to affect the sport on each ends and he does it every night time. The consistency stage that he has, it's exceptional that he is so constant each night."

Westbrook returned to the lineup after the All-Star break and averaged 21 points on 50 p.c shooting from the sector and 48.4 p.c taking pictures from 3-level range in his first seven games.

"He's definitely all the way in which back," Brooks stated. "It's just the conditioning. I feel that's nearly there. It has been a pair weeks now. A variety of times while you miss a big portion of the season – the 30 games he is missed – the conditioning is obviously not going to be as much as par. However he is back. He is undoubtedly back."

Brooks mentioned he was conscious the Durant vs. James talk will continue the rest of the season, especially on days like Sunday when the Thunder followed James' Miami Warmth on ABC's national broadcast.

"I have a look at every crew, each recreation," Brooks stated. "I comply with box scores, I comply with players. But I don't have a look at it that means. They're two nice players. They both are wonderful teammates and great gamers. They will be in that (MVP) discuss for the following 10 years most likely. I do not take a look at it that approach. I do know it is great protection, it is great storylines, but Kevin is basically focused on helping us win video games."

But when Durant did take residence the award for the first time in his career, denying James his fifth MVP?

"It's something that in the event you get, it's nice, however it's not on Kevin's ideas every day," Brooks mentioned. "There is no question, basketball players, you love the opportunity to get the MVP. The factor I like about Kevin, he's about successful. He's about successful over particular person awards. And he is been constant. He's had MVP years like three years in a row now, and the factor I like about him, he comes again a bit of bit better. That is exhausting to do.

"Two years (in the past), it was exhausting to come back back better than he did last 12 months. Then this yr, he was higher. And he's better additionally with completely different conditions and some injuries that we had to play by way of and he is achieved an amazing job of main us. His numbers converse for themselves.

"If he will get it, great. However now we have greater issues to fret about."

 

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Members to IOC: Don’t pay for pros to play

SOCHI, russian federation – The IOC has been urged not to pay sports activities to attend the Olympics throughout talks on its relationships with North American professional crews. The NHL has yet to commit to the Olympics beyond Sochi. Major League Baseball has had issues with the particular Olympics over releasing best players midseason. The NBA has sent elite gamers in its offseason since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.After finally agreeing to a 16-day pause to totally free players to compete within Sochi, the NHL offers yet to commit to liberating its stars to play in the Olympics beyond this year.

The subject was resolved Wednesday when 100-plus worldwide Olympic Committee members regarded as “financial compensation and earnings for the stakeholders for their involvement” during wide-ranging debate upon strategy. “The bottom line is we are on a slippery slope if we begin paying people to come to the particular Olympic Games, ” New Zealand member Barry Maister stated. “It’s fundamentally against the Olympic movement. ”

The NHL agreed to the 16-day pause freeing gamers for Sochi after long discussions with the International Ice handbags Federation. The IOC’s rigid control of broadcast rights was a sticking point. MLB’s refusal to purchase a shorter midseason crack has hampered baseball’s efforts to regain Olympic standing.

Still, restored efforts with strong support in Japan have begun to include baseball and softball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Scott Niedermayer and Sidney Crosby Basketball’s increased significance to the Olympics since the United States sent the original Dream group 22 years ago was held up as a model of cooperation. “The bottom line is we are on a slippery incline if we start paying people to come to the Olympic Games. it can fundamentally against the Olympic motion.” — IOC member Barry Maister

“I think that they did us a great support but we returned in order to basketball a great deal, ” IOC member Alex Gilady associated with Israel said. “Now, many years later, there are already 56 European players in the NBA. It will become a lot more hard for them not to participate in their own national teams in world competition or Olympic Games. ” The most senior golf ball official in the IOC stated the sport “can’t do without these best athletes” at the summer time Games.

“It’s our obligation, the worldwide federations’ obligation, to offer all of them this possibility, ” stated Patrick Baumann, an IOC member from Switzerland plus secretary general of basketball’s world governing body, FIBA. Paying person athletes to compete at the Olympics would be “anathema” as a general principle, said previous Alpine skiing great blue jean Claude-Killy of France.

Earlier, athletes’ consultant Adam Pengilly of Britain experienced suggested the IOC could help create a kind of pension account to help competitors make the changeover to normal life after their own careers. Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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