No. 2 seed Michigan State did it. The Spartans slayed the giants of college basketball. In a thrilling 68-67 down-to-the-wire win, Michigan State ousted No. 1 overall seed Duke at Capital One Arena on Sunday evening, punching its ticket to the Final Four.
Duke, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, had flirted with fire too often in the NCAA Tournament. After single-possession victories over UCF and over Virginia Tech in the second round and Sweet 16, respectively, the Blue Devils finally got burned in a stunning defeat. RJ Barrett had a chance to tie it at 68 from the free-throw line with six seconds remaining, but he went 1 of 2, and Duke never scored again.
Credit to Tom Izzo and Michigan State. This was not a fluky outcome. Duke didn’t choke a lead late. Michigan State didn’t pull this off in Cinderella fashion. Izzo’s Spartans were the better, more sound team for 40 minutes. They led for 22 minutes of game time, and came up big when it mattered.
Spartans star Cassius Winston came up the biggest, though. Michigan State’s trusty guard scored 20 points and dished out 10 assists in the winning effort. It was an assist to Xavier Tillman to keep Sparty within striking distance late. A steal. A made jumper. Fittingly, it was Winston, the Big Ten Player of the Year, who dribbled out the final seconds of a game Sparty fans won’t soon forget.
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Source: CBS Sports