Cavaliers Topped by Michigan State, 60-54
Box Score March 22, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)– The Cavaliers (30-4) were led by Anthony Gill’s 11 points but Michigan State knocked second-seeded Virginia out of the NCAA Tournament, 60-54 on Sunday.
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.
Gill tabbed 11 points and Darion Atkins added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers opened the game 2 of 10 from the field, but started to turn things around when Atkins rejected Alvin Ellis III’s attempt at a one-handed dunk, leading to a corner 3-pointer from Marial Shayok at the other end.
But the Cavaliers could never get in a flow on offense, finishing the first half shooting just 26.7 percent (8 of 30) from the field. Atkins kept the Cavaliers in the game with eight points and six rebounds in the first half.
“They are so good defensively that any start like that is costly,” Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said.
Virginia cut the lead to two to start the second half behind two quick baskets by Justin Anderson. The Spartans countered with a 12-2 run led by Dawson, who had seven points during the stretch, including a three-point play off a fastbreak dunk.
Down six points, Atkins picked up his fourth foul with 8:36 left on what replays showed to be a clean block on Gavin Schilling and was forced to go to the bench.
Virginia got within five after Atkins returned to the lineup before Trice knocked down a clutch 28-footer with 1 second left on the shot clock to put the Spartans up 52-44 with 3 minutes to play.
“That was a dagger 3,” Bennett said. “It was an NBA 3. … When you have a guy like Trice making those shots down the stretch that is what makes you advance in this tournament.”
Virginia finished with its second straight 30-win season, a school record.
But the Cavaliers fell earlier than expected in the NCAA Tournament despite spending most of the season ranked in the top five in the country.
Virginia outrebounded Michigan State 39-32 and was 18 of 26 from the free throw line.