Michigan State overcame some early struggles to keep at bay, trailing only 31-27 at halftime. Denzel Valentine found his rhythm in the second half, where he combined with Travis Trice to score 27 points, the same as the Sooners entire team.
Sparty played as a more complete unit, staying composed against an athletic, cocky Oklahoma squad. In the end, a small State lead was tested at the free throw line, where they struggled mightily in the game and all season.
They shot six for six, just like against Georgia in the first round. Lions QB Matthew Stafford wasn’t bothered by his alma mater bouncing, showcasing some Michigan loyalty in the crowd (rocking a Spartan shirt).
Welcome back to the Elite Eight.