Michigan State is back in the Sweet 16.
After failing to get out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament in each of the previous three seasons, No. 2 Michigan State started quickly, then followed star guard Cassius Winston to a 70-50 victory over No. 10 Minnesota in the East Region at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
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Michigan State (30-6) advances to the regional semifinals for the 14th time under coach Tom Izzo and for the first time since 2015, when the Spartans reached the Final Four. The Spartans will take on No. 3 LSU on Friday in Washington at Capital One Arena.
Winston finished with 13 points and nine assists, but his seven straight points in the second half — after Minnesota had cut Michigan State’s lead down to single digits — allowed the Spartans to pull away.
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His seven points started a 9-0 run that became a 12-2 surge as Michigan State went up, 52-33, with 10:53 to play on a 3-pointer from Aaron Henry.
Xavier Tillman led the Spartans with 14 points, while Henry had nine points and nine rebounds.
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