SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Breaking down No. 7 seed Michigan State’s 62-58 Sweet 16 feat opposite No. 3 Oklahoma on Friday:
WHAT WE’LL BE TALKING ABOUT: The diversion non-stop with a mad pace, and a fusillade of Oklahoma baskets. The Sooners jumped out to an early 10-point lead, though Michigan State chipped divided solemnly though surely. The Spartans tied a diversion mixed times in a second half before holding their initial lead of a day on a Branden Dawson jumper with 9:32 to play. The diversion went behind and onward from there, with Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice both attack pivotal shots down a widen to assistance a Spartans eventually put a Sooners away.
BOX SCORE: Michigan State 62, Oklahoma 58
THE BIG PICTURE: The East informal is not utterly a nauseous stepchild of sites this NCAA tournament, though it’s positively been a slightest adorned this weekend. (Blame a tip dual seeds — Villanova and Virginia — removing knocked out in a Round of 32 for that.) But notwithstanding drifting underneath a radar, Syracuse will give us a marquee coaching matchup for Sunday’s informal final.
Tom Izzo and Michigan State will face No. 4 seed Louisville during 2:20 p.m. ET Sunday with a outing to Indianapolis and a Final Four during stake. Izzo has taken teams to 6 Final Fours; Cards manager Rick Pitino has taken 7 squads to a Final Four. It will be a conflict of dual of a best postseason coaches in a sport.
THE DECIDING PLAY: With only some-more than 6 mins to play, Denzel Valentine perceived an opening pass and dribbled a turn adult a court. Oklahoma’s Frank Booker attempted to pull a charge, and fell to a ground. With 6:19 left on a clock, Valentine drilled an open three-pointer in transition to put a Spartans adult by four, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, notwithstanding a late Buddy Hield 3 that done a final seconds interesting.
STAR WATCH: Valentine scored only 5 points in a initial half, before tallying 13 after halftime. Valentine also contributed 7 rebounds and dual assists — and his descent miscarry with 25 seconds left hermetic a game. It was a bounce-back opening offensively in ubiquitous for Valentine, who scored only 4 points (on 1-for-6 shooting) opposite Virginia in a turn of 32. Senior Spartans ensure Travis Trice led all scorers with 24 points.
KEY STAT: Michigan State, as a team, shot only 9-for-16 from a line, a stat that routinely signals difficulty in a midst of a tighten game. But a Spartans strike their final 4 giveaway chuck attempts to secure a victory.
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