NCAA Tournament: Midwest Regional – Walton leads Michigan State
MINNEAPOLIS ó An unexpected scoring binge from the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year propelled Michigan State to a familiar place.
Travis Walton scored a career-high 18 points to lift the second-seeded Spartans to a 74-69 victory over 10th-seeded USC on Sunday in the Midwest Regional, putting Michigan State in the round of 16 for the eighth time in 12 years.
Durell Summers added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans (28-6), who have advanced to the regional semifinals more times in the last dozen years than any team besides Duke.
They’ll play third-seeded Kansas on Friday in Indianapolis.
Dwight Lewis scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 18 points for USC (22-13).
Lewis scored six straight points for the Trojans, including two free throws that tied the game at 69 with less than 4 minutes to go.
Walton drilled his third tie-breaking jumper of the final 10 minutes on the other end. After Daniel Hackett lost the ball on a drive to the basket, Nikola Vucevic was whistled for a questionable foul on Goran Suton. Floyd flopped to the court in fury, but Suton made both free throws for a 73-69 lead with 1:19 to go.
Lewis and Hackett missed 3-pointers on the other end and the Trojans missed their final nine shots from the field to help the Spartans survive.
Kansas 60, Dayton 43
MINNEAPOLIS ó The long arms of Cole Aldrich forced the Dayton Flyers down for a rough landing.
Aldrich, the 6-foot-11 Kansas sophomore, posted a triple-double with 13 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to lead the defending NCAA champions past the 11th-seeded Flyers 60-43 in the second round Sunday.
Sherron Collins had 25 points to pace the Jayhawks (27-7), the No. 3 seed.
Arizona 71, Cleveland State 57
MIAMI ó The new role as long shots seems to suit the Arizona Wildcats fine.
Seeded only 12th, the NCAA tournament perennials took an early 14-point lead Sunday and advanced to the round of 16 by beating upstart Cleveland State 71-57.
The Wildcats (21-13) are appearing in the tournament for the 25th year in a row, two shy of the record. But they’ve never been seeded so low and drew criticism as undeserving of a berth.
Now they’re bound for the final 16 for the 12th time since 1988.
Nic Wise scored 21 points to lead four double-figure scorers for the Wildcats.