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7th-seeded Michigan State outlasts 3rd-seeded Oklahoma to advance to Elite Eight, face Louisville on Sunday in Carrier Dome

first_imgThirty minutes after Louisville clinched another 40 minutes on the Carrier Dome floor, its opponent was to be decided.Seventh-seeded Michigan State (26-11) and No. 3-seed Oklahoma (24-11) went to war for the second and final spot in the Elite Eight in the East Regional, and Tom Izzo’s Spartans prevailed, 62-58, on Friday night.The Sooners, behind 11 first-half points from leading scorer Buddy Hield and 40.6-percent shooting as a team, took a 31-27 lead into the break after holding a 10-point lead just a few minutes earlier.But 10 and a half minutes into the second half, the Spartans took their first lead of the night.And it didn’t take long for the Michigan State faithful to boast itself as the largest and loudest fan base in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGuards Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice connected on 3s to keep the Sooners at bay and fill the spacious dome with a roar from the MSU fans in the crowd. But OU hit its free throws and kept itself within striking distance.With 2:53 remaining, Michigan State possessed a 54-51 lead. After a timeout, Trice drained a fadeaway jumper to push MSU’s lead to five, but that was answered by a pair of foul shots from Sooner TaShawn Thomas.Trice nailed a pair at the charity stripe to push it back to a five-point game, and Hield answered with a second-chance 3 pointer, Oklahoma’s first of the half, to cut it to 58-56.MSU took it under 40 seconds. Trice missed a step-back late in the shot clock, but the Spartans grabbed the second and third chances and Valentine earned a trip to the line, where he sank a pair to push MSU back up by four.Thomas answered with a second-chance bucket and OU quickly called timeout, down by two with 15.5 left.The Sooners fouled Trice, who again pushed MSU ahead by more than a possession.And when Oklahoma couldn’t convert on the other end, the Spartans grabbed the rebound and paraded down the court with only time to kill before celebrating its Elite Eight appearance. Comments Published on March 28, 2015 at 12:27 am Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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