NCAA tournament, East Regional: LSU defeats Maryland; Michigan State routs Minnesota
A buzzer beater at the NCAA tournament: Tremont Waters drove around three defenders and flipped in a shot with 1.6 seconds remaining to give LSU a 69-67 victory over Maryland in the second round of the East Region at Jacksonville, Fla.
Maryland rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half, setting up the thrilling finish.
Skylar Mays made a three-pointer with 40 seconds left to give LSU a 67-64 lead, but Jalen Smith answered from the corner with 26 seconds remaining to tie the score.
The first round of this tournament was a bit light on exciting finishes. New Mexico State’s Trevelin Queen shot an air ball from the wing, missing a chance to beat Auburn, and Iowa State’s Nick Weiler-Babb missed a three-pointer against Ohio State that would have tied the score.
Waters took advantage of his opportunity. He ran the clock down, got a pick near the foul line and drove down the right side of the lane to make the game winner.
Third-seeded LSU (28-6) is heading to the Sweet 16 for first time since reaching the Final Four in 2006. The Tigers will face the winner of the Michigan State-Minnesota game. Those teams are playing Saturday night.
Maryland finishes the season with a record of 23-11.
No. 2 Michigan State 70, No. 10 Minnesota 50: Michigan State is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015 after rolling past Minnesota 70-50 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night.
The Spartans (30-6) came out making shots at a blistering pace and were never seriously threatened, a stark contrast to their nerve-wracking first-round win over Bradley on Thursday.
The win in the battle of Big Ten teams sends the second-seeded Spartans to an East Region semifinal against LSU in Washington, D.C.
The Spartans made 9 of their first 10 shots on their way to building a 20-point lead in the first 14 minutes. Minnesota managed to pull within single digits briefly in the second half before Big Ten player of the year Cassius Winston took matters into his hands.
Xavier Tillman had 14 points, Winston added 13 with nine assists, and the Spartans shot 57.1 percent.
Amir Coffey had 25 points to lead the 10th-seeded Gophers, who shot a season-worst 30.5 percent and made only 2 of 22 3-pointers.
Minnesota (23-14) had played its best game of the season in beating Louisville in the first round, but it struggled shooting early and was hamstrung by the absence of forward Jordan Murphy. The Gophers’ No. 1 all-time rebounder and No. 2 scorer spent most of the first half behind the bench stretching his tight back. He was limited to four minutes, his fewest since his freshman year.
SUNDAY’S MEN’S SCHEDULE
All times Pacific, with TV (*approximate time; game will start 30 minutes after the completion of the previous one):
at Columbia, S.C.
1 Duke (30-5) vs. 9 Central Florida (24-8), Channel 2, 2:15 p.m.
at San Jose
4 Virginia Tech (25-8) vs. 12 Liberty (29-6), TBS, 4 p.m.
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