The Michigan State Spartans took the floor on Friday for day two of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. In the round of 64, which is technically called the 2nd Round, the Spartans were pitted against the Georgia Bulldogs of the SEC. MSU was a 7-seed and UGA was the 10-seed in the East Region matchup. The Spartans struggled out of the gate early, but finished the first half on a 23-8 run to go up by 13 in the first half. Despite some scares, they never relinquished their lead in the second half, and went on to win by a final score of 70-63.
Georgia started the second half on a 15-4 run to cut the deficit to just a bucket, but the Spartans responded with a 13-4 run of their own to put their lead back to double digits. The Bulldogs got it their deficit to as low as 3 points with roughly twenty seconds to go in the game, but it was too little too late for UGA. Georgia had three players in double digits scoring, including Junior guard Charles Mann, who had a team-high and game-high 19 points.
Michigan State had four players in double digits on the afternoon, including seniors Branden Dawson and Travis Trice combining for 29 points, and Junior guard Bryn Forbes with 14 points off the bench. Guard/forward Denzel Valentine scored the most for the Spartans, netting 16 points.
Trice, who is 12th in the nation in the assist/turnover ratio department with 3.03, had 6 assists and 4 turnovers in the contest.
The Spartans came into today’s tournament game ranked 340th nationally in free-throw percentage. They converted on only 11 of 19 free throw attempts.
WHO’S UP NEXT?
The Spartans advance to the Round of 32 (3rd Round) to face the winner of (2) Virginia/(15) Belmont on Sunday.