/wearing sunglasses inside
Morning, everybody. Let me get in to these eggs Benedict and we'll get started.
Playing in Friday's nightcap, Michigan State faced a game Sooner squad in Syracuse.
Oklahoma came out hot, lending the game a very different feel than the Spartans' victory over Virginia wherein they led nearly wire-to-wire. But after making 8 of their first 11, the Sooners cooled considerably. Still, MSU didn't take its first lead until less than 10 minutes remained, and never put a decisive distance between themselves and Oklahoma.
The game had many hallmarks of MSU's season. They bogged down offensively at times, most of the bigs got into foul trouble in the second half, and at one point they were 3/10 at the foul line. But MSU also showed the late-game execution they displayed more in the late stages of the season. Travis Trice had 24 points on 7/14 shooting and went 6/6 from the line, most of them in the last few minutes of the game; Denzel Valentine had a much less efficient game, needing 17 shots to gather 18 points, but he turned it on after halftime, and Oklahoma's primary scorers also had off shooting nights. Buddy Hield was 7/17, TaShawn Thomas 5/12, and Jordan Woodard 4/11. With neither bench contributing much offense (MSU got 6 from its bench, Oklahoma 3), Trice's habit of hitting shots late when no one else on the floor could get much going ultimately made the difference.
The win earns MSU a Sunday afternoon date with Louisville, the Cardinals having beaten NC State by ten in their regional semifinal.