Michigan State beats LSU to reach Elite Eight

Michigan State's guard Cassius Winston left talks with head coach Tom Izzo during practice at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Washington Thursday

Michigan State's guard Cassius Winston left talks with head coach Tom Izzo during practice at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Washington Thursday

On a night two of their top weapons were quiet - Nick Ward and Matt McQuad combined for just 10 points - and junior star Cassius Winston wasn't an offensive force, the Spartans flexed their depth.

Zion Williamson scored a game-high 23 points, while fellow freshman Tre Jones scores a career-high 22 points with five 3-pointers to compensate for the absence of starter Cam Reddish due to a knee injury.

The Blue Devils had to survive a wild final possession for the Hokies, who missed two 3-pointers for the lead then had Ahmed Hill miss a short putaway on a perfectly executed inbounds lob to the lane to end it.

The Tigers have been without head coach Will Wade for the tournament after a wiretap scandal but they've been playing a motivated brand of basketball.

The victor of tonight's game will face either Duke or Virginia Tech in Sunday's East Regional Final. The trigger-happy Tigers overcame an early deficit with a hot-shooting second to return to the region final for the first time in 33 years.

The Spartans won the NCAA East Regional Semifinal with a convincing performance led by 20 points from freshman Aaron Henry.

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On Friday night the Sweet 16 rolled on with four games on the docket.

Michigan State had their most impressive showing in this year's tournament against a very good LSU team as the Spartans were able to dominate on the offensive boards, while their defense (34th ranked scoring defense; 3rd ranked defensive FG%) was once again outstanding.

Despite controlling the opening 20 minutes, shooting 41.2 percent from deep and owning the glass, Michigan State only led by 40-28 at the break after Waters' 3-pointer in the final seconds.

The momentum carried over, as Waters scored the first seven points after intermission and the Tigers got within four following a Kavell Bigby-Williams slam. And Xavier Tillman was a key in the paint, with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Stay with FOX 2 for more coverage on this developing story. But Michigan State answered with that 11-0 run to restore order. Meanwhile, forward Naz Reid is a candidate to enter the NBA Draft.

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