This game was all too familiar for both teams. They met last year in the Sweet 16 with the Cavaliers getting the best of the Spartans. The air exuberated “revenge” for Michigan State as they pined for an upset. They fought early to get a small lead and kept it through the entire game. Michigan State outlasted a Virginia team that just couldn’t seem to get its shots to fall. It wasn’t hard to keep the sub-30-percent-shooting Cavaliers underneath in terms of score. Michigan State wins 60-54 and continues dancing.
This game matches up two great coaches in Tom Izzo and Tony Bennett. The ACC regular season champ, Virginia, was able to win its first game in the tournament after losing 2 of the last 3 games beforehand. The final score of its victory over Belmont may have been by 12, but the lead was only 2 with less than five minutes to play. Virginia can’t let up runs to Michigan St. like it did to Belmont or the Cavaliers will be heading back to Charlottesville.
Michigan St. has come on strong lately and made it to the Big Ten championship, only to lose to Wisconsin in overtime. The Spartans have played in seven overtime games over the span of the season. Tom Izzo has his team coming together at the right time as they look to be this year’s 7 seed to cut down the nets at the end of it all. The Spartans were able to beat the Georgia Bulldogs 70-63 in second round action on Friday.
The game tips at 12:10 ET on CBS.
Continue reading Preview: No. 7 Michigan St. vs. No. 2 Virginia
Virginia was able to survive Belmont’s streaky shooting and win 79-67. Belmont led early in this one, but a 13-0 run captured the lead for Virginia and the lead never changed hands after that. Malcolm Brodgen led Virginia with 16 in the first half, but went cold and missed all of his shots in the second. Belmont’s Craig Bradshaw was hot from deep as he made 5 of his 9 threes, but whenever Belmont tried to close the gap, Virginia weathered the storm and started to make plays. Belmont did not cower down from the 2-seed Virginia, but they will have to wait another year to claim their first tournament victory.