Spartans win at buzzer
SPOKANE, Wash. — The celebration was barely over, and already Michigan State had to start thinking about life in the NCAA tournament without injured Kalin Lucas.
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 yesterday 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 6 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 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."
Izzo added that the diagnosis was not definite because Lucas had yet to have an X-ray on MRI, "but the prognosis is 85 percent of that."
A two-time all-Big Ten selection, Lucas got hurt with 2:28 remaining in the first half and did not return.
Lucas scored a career-high 25 points in Michigan State's first-round victory over New Mexico State.
Durrell Summers had 26 points in this one for the Spartans (26-8), who also played without starting guard Chris Allen (foot) for most of the game.
Vasquez led the fourth-seeded Terrapins (24-9) with 26 points. He sparked their late comeback by scoring nine of Maryland's final 11 points in the last two minutes.
NO. 2 OHIO ST. 75, NO. 10 GA. TECH 66
MILWAUKEE — Evan Turner rebounded from one of the worst shooting nights of his career with 24 points, and second-seeded Ohio State outlasted foul- and turnover-plagued Georgia Tech.
Jon Diebler added 20 points for the Buckeyes (29-7) and David Lighty had 18.
Ohio State faces sixth-seeded Tennessee on Friday night in St. Louis in a Midwest Regional semifinal.
ACC freshman of the year Derrick Favors, who played just 5 minutes in the first half after picking up two quick fouls, finished with 10 points before fouling out in the last minute for 10th-seeded Georgia Tech (23-13).
NO. 1 SYRACUSE 87, NO. 8 GONZAGA 65
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Wes Johnson scored a career-high 31 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, Andy Rautins added 24 points and top-seeded Syracuse hit a dozen 3-pointers to rout No. 8 Gonzaga.
It's been a storybook campaign for the Orange (30-4), who were unranked before the season and made it to No. 1 for the final week before losing to Georgetown in the Big East tournament. They play Thursday in the round of 16 against fifth-seeded Butler in Salt Lake City.
Elias Harris led Gonzaga (27-7) with 24 points.
NO. 6 XAVIER 71, NO. 3 PITTSBURGH 68
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.
Jason Love had 14 points and a key block down the stretch for the Musketeers (26-8), who advanced to play second-seeded Kansas State in the West Regional semifinals in Salt Lake City on Thursday.
Ashton Gibbs scored 19 points, and Brad Wanamaker had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers (25-9), who nearly rallied with two 3-pointers by Gilbert Brown in the final 28 seconds.
Gibbs missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with less than a second left. Pittsburgh had one last chance to inbound the ball with 0.4 seconds left, but Wanamaker left the shot short.
NO. 1 DUKE 68, NO. 8 CALIFORNIA 53
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nolan Smith scored 20 points, Kyle Singler added 17 and top-seeded Duke reached the round of 16 by beating California.
Brian Zoubek finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds — the sixth double-double of his career — as the Blue Devils overcame some long-range shooting woes with dominant post play.
Duke (31-5) advanced to play No. 4 seed Purdue in a South Regional semifinal Friday in Houston.
The eighth-seeded Golden Bears (24-11) failed to get past the opening weekend for the fourth time in as many NCAA tournament appearances.
NO. 4 PURDUE 63, NO. 5 TEX. A&M 61, OT
SPOKANE, Wash. — Chris Kramer's drive past one defender and layup over another 6 inches taller than him 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.
B.J. Holmes got a final, frantic chance to win the game for Texas A&M with a rushed 3-point try from in front of his bench at the buzzer, but it hit short on the rim to ensure a sixth regional appearance in 12 NCAA tournaments dating to 1994 for Purdue (29-5).
Kramer, Purdue's leader with Robbie Hummel out with a knee injury, led the Boilermakers with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Bryan Davis led the Aggies (24-10) with 17 points and 15 rebounds. The 6-foot-9 senior was the man who leaped but could not block Kramer's winning shot.