banner

College Basketball

more stats

60
Final 12Score
24  Connecticut213960
20  Michigan State252954
Preview | Lineup | Wrap | Box
54


NCAA Game Summary - Connecticut vs. Michigan State



(Sunday, March 30th)

Final Score: Connecticut 60, Michigan State 54

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - In 2011, Connecticut rode an incredible individual stretch from their point guard all the way to a national championship.

Three years later, the Huskies are back in the Final Four, and in no small part due to the efforts of their current floor general.

Shabazz Napier put up 25 points and six rebounds while carrying Connecticut in the second half, and the Huskies punched their ticket to North Texas with a 60-54 decision over Michigan State in the East Region final in front of a pro- Huskies crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Seventeen of Napier's points came after halftime, and seven were amassed during a pivotal 12-0 run that turned UConn's nine-point deficit into a 35-32 lead with under 12 minutes left.

The senior standout later sealed the Huskies' advancement by sinking all three free throws after being fouled by Keith Appling on a long-distance attempt, giving UConn a 56-51 lead with 30.6 seconds left.

"You could just see it, he wasn't going to let his team lose," Spartans guard Gary Harris said of Napier. "He's a winner and he willed his team to victory."

DeAndre Daniels added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Huskies (30-8), who became only the second-ever No. 7 seed to reach the Final Four. They certainly earned the trip, knocking off second-seeded Villanova and third-seeded Iowa State prior to downing the Big Ten Tournament champion Spartans.

The Huskies now get a rematch with No. 1 overall seed Florida, whom UConn dealt a 65-64 loss in Storrs on Dec. 2, in Saturday's national semifinal at AT&T Stadium. The Gators have ripped off a school-record 30 straight wins since that result.

"We're going to be well prepared, because I know about these guys' heart, and that's what got us through," Huskies head coach Kevin Ollie said. "It was a heart of a champion, heart of a lion, and I love these guys."

While Napier put forth a performance reminiscent of former teammate Kemba Walker's amazing five-game run that catapulted the Huskies to a surprise 2011 Big East Tournament title in the same building, Michigan State's senior point guard endured an outing to forget. Appling managed just two points and four turnovers before fouling out on his ill-advised late hack of Napier in the final stages.

Appling, along with forward Adreian Payne, became the first four-year players in head coach Tom Izzo's 19-year tenure at Michigan State to never reach a Final Four.

Payne tallied 13 points and nine rebounds, but shot just 4-of-14 from the floor, and the fourth-seeded Spartans (29-9) were also hurt by 16 turnovers that the Huskies converted into 18 points.

"Unfortunately we did not bring our 'A' game today, and we got what we deserved today," said Izzo. "I tried to tell these guys that when you get to the Tournament, you've got to bring it every second. And today Connecticut did and we just kind of weren't as good as we have been."

Harris was Michigan State's lone consistent scoring threat, finishing with 22 points while knocking down four 3-pointers.

The Spartans owned a 32-23 lead with 16 1/2 minutes remaining following five straight points from Payne, but went scoreless on eight consecutive possessions thereafter as Connecticut came roaring back.

Napier buried a triple to ignite the Huskies' tide-turning 12-0 tear, then later hit four straight free throws before Daniels came through with a 3-point play that gave UConn a 35-32 edge with 11:46 to go.

"Coach told to us keep our composure," said Napier. "They made their run and it was time for us to make ours. And when Coach looks at me a certain way, I just know I got to be more aggressive, and I got to open shots when my teammates got me the ball and we just kept running. And guys were just making shots."

The Huskies kept on rolling, with Napier answering a Harris three with one of his own and feeding Niels Giffey for a run-out slam on Connecticut's next trip down the court for a 46-39 advantage with 7:37 left. A Ryan Boatright trey just over a minute later had the Huskies ahead by double digits.

Michigan State closed the gap behind consecutive 3-pointers from Denzel Valentine and Harris, and later pulled within 51-49 on Appling's lone bucket of the game -- a tough left-handed layup with 2:38 to go.

It was still a two-point differential when Appling got a piece of Napier's right arm on the latter's try from beyond the arc with 30.6 seconds on the clock. Napier calmly drained all three bonus attempts before Phillip Nolan put the game away for Connecticut with a transition dunk that came after the Spartans' Travis Trice was off the mark from 3-point range.

The Spartans also started the contest ice-cold, misfiring on eight of their first nine field goal attempts as Connecticut opened on a 12-2 run, but reversed the momentum with a 12-4 surge and later grabbed their first lead of the day when the second of back-to-back Harris 3-pointers created a 22-21 score with 3:28 left in the first half.

Harris' two treys were at the forefront of a 9-0 tear the Spartans closed out the half on, with a Valentine three in the final seconds sending Michigan State into the break up by a 25-21 count.

The Spartans' rally was aided by a prolonged offensive drought by the Huskies, who went a dismal 3-for-21 from the field over the remainder of the first half after beginning the game 5-for-8. UConn failed to score over the final 5:27 of the period.

Game Notes

Virginia had been the only previous No. 7 seed to reach the Final Four, doing so in 1984 ... The Spartans lost for only the second time in eight Elite Eight matchups under Izzo, with the lone other defeat coming to Texas in the 2003 tourney ... Michigan State fell to 3-12 all-time at Madison Square Garden and dropped a 64-60 decision to Georgetown there on Feb. 1 ... The schools last met in Germany in the 2012-13 opener for both, with Connecticut posting a 66-62 in Ollie's first game as head coach ... Napier set a UConn record by playing his 141st career game and moved past NBA star Ray Allen for fourth place on the Huskies' all-time scoring list. Napier now has 1,925 career points.

03/30 20:25:46 ET

Other Stories

TV
  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Today at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tonight at 11:35 on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 78
UCLA 56
12:00pm Today
NCCU
EILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
BSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
GSW
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
 
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
1:00pm Today
BOS
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
GSW
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
MIL
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
NOP
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
LAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
NYK
 
8:00pm Tonight
IND
ORL
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
 
Final
TEXAM 17
LSU 23
Final
TEX 10
TCU 48
11:00am Today
WMICH
NILL
12:00pm Today
SMU
HOU
12:00pm Today
IOWA
NEB
12:00pm Today
SFLA
UCF
12:00pm Today
MARS
WKENT
1:00pm Today
KSU
AKR
1:00pm Today
BGU
BST
1:00pm Today
UMASS
BUF
1:00pm Today
EMICH
TOL
2:30pm Today
MIZZ
ARK
3:00pm Today
SALABAMA
NAVY
3:30pm Today
ARZ
ARST
3:30pm Today
AFA
COLST
3:30pm Today
UCLA
STAN
8:00pm Tonight
VT
UVA
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
TENN 64
SCU 57
Final
RMU 71
LAMON 54
Final
BUT 46
OKLA 59
Final
BRO 58
PEAY 79
Final
UTEP 62
PRIN 56
Final
CHAT 78
CCAR 67
Final
RIU 60
KU 76
Final
USCU 68
FIU 53
Final
GEOR 65
WISC 68
Final
USB 73
LIU 54
Final
XAV 82
SDU 71
Final
INDST 62
ILL 88
Final
WRST 62
CSFU 67
Final
STJOE 59
WKENT 62
Final
RIDE 45
MSU 77
Final
UNC 78
UCLA 56
Final
WMICH 55
LBSU 73
Final
GT 70
MARQ 72
Final
PVU 61
STEPH 73
Final
MERC 77
RICE 71
Final
UF 56
UAB 47
Final
WASH 78
SJST 56
2nd
MEM 47
BAY 69
 
2nd
UCSB 49
WASU 21
 
12:00pm Today
NCCU
EILL
 
12:00pm Today
KU
TENN
 
1:00pm Today
TEXAM
NO
 
1:30pm Today
NCAT
RAD
 
2:00pm Today
GEOR
BUT
 
2:30pm Today
BRO
PVU
 
2:30pm Today
RIU
SCU
 
2:30pm Today
NARZ
SOUTH
 
3:00pm Today
DART
MAST
 
3:30pm Today
WRST
FIU
 
3:30pm Today
XAV
UTEP
 
4:00pm Today
OSU
JMU
 
4:00pm Today
TXSOU
LAM
 
4:00pm Today
TAMCC
MVSU
 
4:00pm Today
AKAN
MIZST
 
4:00pm Today
BUCK
PSU
 
4:00pm Today
PROV
YALE
 
4:30pm Today
UGA
MINN
 
4:30pm Today
WISC
OKLA
 
5:00pm Tonight
Terriers
NORST
 
5:00pm Tonight
PEAY
STEPH
 
6:00pm Tonight
FSU
CSOU
 
6:00pm Tonight
VALPO
DRAK
 
6:00pm Tonight
CIN
MTST
 
6:00pm Tonight
SDU
PRIN
 
6:00pm Tonight
CSFU
USCU
 
6:15pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
6:30pm Tonight
GT
RIDE
 
7:00pm Tonight
TXPA
ALAST
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
BSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
TCU
BRAD
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
HART
EMERSON
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GONZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
HIGH
 
7:00pm Tonight
SYR
HC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
JVST
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
SALA
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
VANDY
 
7:30pm Tonight
PETE
TENST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
CLST
 
8:00pm Tonight
JST
HOF
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SAMF
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
TENNM
 
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
 
8:30pm Tonight
PORT
MURST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
 
9:00pm Tonight
SJST
WMICH
 
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
 
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
 
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
 
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
 
10:30pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
 
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
 
11:59pm Tonight
TBA
TBA
 
Final
NAS 1
EDM 0
1:00pm Today
PHI
NYR
 
4:00pm Today
ANA
CHI
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
NYI
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
MON
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
VAN
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
EDM
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN
 
Final
DET 34
CHI 17
Final
DAL 10
PHI 33
Final
SFX 3
SEA 19