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.

 

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No. 2 MSU keeps Kentucky at bay

Michigan State Holds Off Kentucky

CHICAGO – As the buzzer sounded and his Michigan State teammates raced onto the court docket to celebrate, Gary Harris held his index finger aloft.

Little question about who's No. 1.

For now, not less than.

Branden Dawson tipped in a miss with lower than six seconds left, and the No. 2 Spartans hung on for a 78-74 victory over top-ranked Kentucky and its latest forged of phenoms within the first recreation of the Champions Basic on Tuesday night time.

"We wish to be No. 1 on the finish of the season," Keith Appling stated. "Not the start."

Hold playing like this and the Spartans (2-zero) are positive to be within the dialog come the tip of March.

Kentucky, too. After trailing by as a lot as 13 in the second half, wanting like the freshmen most of them are, the Wildcats (2-1) showed why there's a lot hype surrounding them. Julius Randle virtually beat the Spartans single-handedly, scoring 23 of his 27 points in the second half and making a jumper with 42 seconds left that lower Michigan State's result in seventy six-74.

However Dawson tipped in a miss by Denzel Valentine, and James Young missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

"You bought guys crying in there, which is an efficient thing," Kentucky coach John Calipari stated. "I would like it to hurt like that. I knew this is able to get their consideration. The most important factor is for those who don't do this collectively, you won't win. You may by no means be a particular staff."

This was the earliest 1 vs. 2 match-up, and first since Feb. 23, 2008, when Tennessee beat prime-ranked Memphis. The Tigers coach then? None aside from Calipari.

This sport had even more hype, principally due to the Kiddie Cats. Much has been manufactured from the children, with good purpose. The last time Calipari had a roster this star-studded, the Wildcats gained a nationwide title.

This group may be much more spectacular.

Six have been McDonald's All-People, and all are considered lottery picks in subsequent summer time's NBA draft, with Randle a risk for the general No. 1. The kids did nothing to minimize the hype in their first two video games, with Randle averaging 22.5 points and 15 rebounds, and the Harrison twins averaging in double figures. No marvel the game brought out scouts from almost every NBA group and celebrities including Nazr Mohammed and Detroit Lions defensive deal with Ndamukong Suh.

However the Spartans aren't precisely slouches, returning six of their high seven scorers. Just as necessary, massive-time video games like this are nothing new to them, with Izzo routinely scheduling the likes of Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas earlier than Jan. 1.

"They're actually good," Calipari said. "This is the second sport out and so they go 17 assists to seven turnovers? That is unbelievable. Again, understand we're not the greatest defensive group, but 17 and seven? With these lights and all that is occurring around them? They're properly coached. They performed nicely."

Appling got here within two rebounds and two assists of a triple-double, finishing with 22 factors, and eight rebounds and assists. Harris had 20 points and Adreian Payne had 15 points and 4 rebounds for the Spartans.

Kentucky had strolled via its first two games, with Randle and the other freshmen developing large. However there's a large difference between those non-conference patsies and Michigan State, and the Spartans let the Wildcats know what they were up towards from the opening tip.

MSU shot chart

ESPN Stats & Info

Michigan State hit fifty eight.1 percent of its field goals within the first half against Kentucky.

Smothering the Wildcats defensively and leaving them flat-footed with their stunning speed on offense, Michigan State had a ten-0 lead earlier than Kentucky acquired its first bucket. The Cats had seven turnovers before the midway level of the first half, and would finish with 17.

And it was clear that, with four freshmen within the starting lineup and one other getting heavy enjoying time, the Wildcats are still getting used to each other, too. At one point, Andrew Harrison rifled a no-look cross to Willie Cauley-Stein that Cauley-Stein wasn't anticipating, and the ball sailed out of bounds.

They struggled at the line, too, going simply 20 of 36.

"They will get quite a bit better. Give them credit," Izzo said. "But I believed we played awfully well for lots of that game."

Still, the Spartans acquired in foul bother midway by the second half, and the slower tempo gave the Wildcats time to catch their breath and regroup. It also gave a seething Randle a possibility to work out his anger.

"What I beloved about him, he gritted his tooth, was ornery and nasty and he wanted to put them on his shoulders," Izzo mentioned. "For a freshman, that speaks volumes. He utterly did that. You could possibly see it and hear him. Robust kid."

Randle scored nine points in a thirteen-1 run that minimize Michigan State's result in 60-fifty nine with eight:05 left, including a "How'd he do that?" off-steadiness jumper from behind a sea of inexperienced jerseys. He and Harrison every made a pair of free throws to tie the sport at sixty six with 4:forty eight left.

But Appling drilled a 3, and Harris stripped Randle at the other finish. He took it in for a layup that put the Spartans back in entrance, seventy one-66, bringing the Michigan State fans – including Spartan in Chief, Magic Johnson – to their feet.

Randle wasn't executed simply yet, however. After Harrison's free throws Kentucky inside seventy six-seventy two with 1:33 to play, the Wildcats pounced on an Appling turnover and Randle scored on a jumper. But Dawson's tip-in sealed the win.

"I maintain reiterating: They are going to get rather a lot higher," Izzo mentioned. "But I truthfully believe so will we."

 

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