Michigan State beats LSU to reach Elite Eight

Williamson

Williamson

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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