Posted on March 29, 2014 at 2:09 AM
Saturday, Mar 29 at 5:35 AM
NEW YORK CITY -- It was a battle to the finish, but in the end, Michigan State defeated Virginia 61-59 in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament Friday night.
The Spartans came out with their guns blazing, putting up the first three points of the game.
With just over nine minutes left in the half, MSU's Branden Dawson nailed a dunk making it a ten point lead for the No. 4 seed team.
UVA's Joe Harris quickly answered back with a shot behind the arc, creating a shift in momentum on the court and a 12-0 run for the Cavaliers.
At the end of the half, the Cavs trailed within five points of their opponents.
Virginia pulled through to take the lead in the first few minutes of the second half creating excitement and hope on and off the court.
The Cavaliers held the lead for much of the half until MSU came back with vengeance.
In the end it was the Spartans' aggressive tactics on both sides of the court that proved to be the dagger in the coffin for No. 1 seed Virginia.
Michigan State now advances to take on UConn in the Elite 8 round at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.