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.