Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NCAA East Region: Trice, Michigan State Knock out Virginia Again

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NCAA East Region: Trice, Michigan State Knock out Virginia Again

Article excerpt

Travis Trice received a text message Sunday from Golden State Warriors forward and former Michigan State player Draymond Green that read: "Don't let this be your last game."

The Spartans' senior guard texted back, "It won't."

Trice made sure of that Sunday, scoring 23 points and helping Michigan State knock second-seeded Virginia out of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, 60-54, in Charlotte, N.C.

The 6-foot, 175-pound Trice scored 13 of his team's first 15 points on five-of-five shooting, including three 3-pointers, to help the Spartans build a 15-4 lead.

Branden Dawson added 15 points and nine rebounds for the seventh- seeded Spartans, who advanced to the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in the last eight seasons under coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans will play Oklahoma in Syracuse, N.Y., on Friday.

"Our thing was attack from the get-go and get a lead," said Trice, in his first full season as a starter after three years as a reserve.

"Big-time players make big-time plays (and) that's what Travis did," said Dawson, who started playing with Trice in AAU ball.

With top seed Villanova having lost Saturday, it is the first time a No. 1 and 2 seed from the same region didn't advance to the Sweet 16 since Kentucky and Gonzaga in 2004.

The Cavaliers (30-4), the first Atlantic Coast Conference team to lose after a 9-0 start in the tournament, were led by Anthony Gill's 11 points and Darion Atkins' 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Izzo made some defensive tweaks to his game plan after Michigan State's first-round win over Georgia, and the Spartans (25-11) stole a page from last year's regional semifinal win by limiting the Cavaliers to 29.8 percent shooting. Virginia finished two of 17 from 3-point range.

Last year, the Spartans upset the top-seeded Cavaliers in the regional semifinal by holding Virginia to 35.1 percent shooting.

While Trice was beating them up and down the court and making 3s, the Cavaliers opened the game two of 10 from the field and could never get on track offensively. …

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