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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Buzzer-beater sends Michigan State to round of 16

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) The celebration was barely over, and already Michigan State had to start thinking about life in the NCAA tournament without injured Kalin Lucas.

News photo
Sweet 16 bound: Duke's Nolan Smith attempts to block a shot by Cal's Jerome Randle during their second-round game at the NCAA Tournament on Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla. AP PHOTO

Korie Lucious, filling in for the Spartans' star guard, hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap a frenetic finish and give depleted Michigan State an 85-83 victory over Maryland on Sunday in the second round of the Midwest Regional.

After Lucas went down with a leg injury, the Spartans blew a 16-point lead in the second half. Greivis Vasquez's basket put Maryland ahead 83-82 with six seconds left, but Michigan State inbounded immediately and Draymond Green pushed the ball up the floor.

Green passed to Lucious at the top of the key. He dribbled once and launched the game-winner as time expired, setting off a wild celebration as jubilant Spartans players streamed off the bench.

"I had an open look. Time was running down. I just shot it and it went in," Lucious said. "I didn't want the time to go out without getting a shot up."

No. 5 seed Michigan State advanced to play ninth-seeded Northern Iowa on Friday in the regional semifinals in St. Louis. The Panthers pulled off the most stunning upset of the tournament Saturday, beating top-seeded Kansas 69-67.

"I think I'm just going to enjoy this today and I'll worry about Northern Iowa tomorrow morning," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "This is going to be the 24-hour rule. We're going to enjoy this."

If the Spartans are going to go any further, however, they'll probably have to do it without their floor leader.

Moments after his team's thrilling victory, Izzo revealed sobering news about Lucas, saying the junior guard likely has a torn Achilles' tendon. That would make it almost impossible for him to play in the round of 16 — or beyond.

"That poor kid, he was devastated," Izzo said. "It's a shame for him. But it's part of athletics and we're just going to have to move on."

Big Red wins big

JACKSONVILLE , Fla. (AP) Louis Dale scored 26 points and Ryan Wittman had 24, helping 12th-seeded Cornell dominate No. 4 seed Wisconsin 87-69 on Sunday to reach the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament for the first time.

The Big Red entered the tourney with no victories in four previous appearances and upset fifth-seeded Temple in the opening round. They are the first Ivy League team to advance to the round of 16 since Penn in 1979.

W. Virginia 68, Missouri 59

In Buffalo, Da'Sean Butler accounted for 19 of West Virginia's 30 points in the first half, then finished with 28 to lead the second-seeded Mountaineers past No. 10 Missouri and into the round of 16.

MIDWEST REGIONAL

Ohio St. 75, Georgia Tech 66

In Milwaukee, Evan Turner rebounded from one of the worst shooting nights of his career with 24 points, and second-seeded Ohio State outlasted Georgia Tech.

WEST REGIONAL

Syracuse 87, Gonzaga 65

In Buffalo, Wes Johnson scored a career-high 31 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, and Andy Rautins added 24 points as top-seeded Syracuse hit a dozen 3-pointers to rout No. 8 Gonzaga.

Xavier 71, Pittsburgh 68

In Milwaukee, Jordan Crawford scored 27 points, including a breakaway dunk with just over two minutes remaining, to help sixth-seeded Xavier beat No. 3 Pittsburgh in the second round.

SOUTH REGIONAL

Duke 68, California 53

In Jacksonville, Nolan Smith scored 20 points, Kyle Singler added 17 and top-seeded Duke reached the round of 16 by beating California.

Purdue 63, TAMU 61 (OT)

In Spokane, Chris Kramer's drive past one defender and layup over another with 4.2 seconds remaining in overtime sent fourth-seeded Purdue into the regional semifinals with a bruising victory over No. 5 Texas A&M.



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