The Hurricanes scored the game’s first 10 points, crashing the boards, forcing turnovers and scoring in transition. Miami couldn’t have asked for a better start.
But there’s a reason the Spartans are making their 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Tom Izzo’s club never panicked. Michigan State started making shots, asserting its presence inside and increasing the defensive pressure. A double-digit lead soon became a double-digit deficit.
By the time the final buzzer sounded at BOK Center, ninth-seeded Michigan State had defeated the eight-seeded Hurricanes 78-58 to advance to play top-seeded Kansas in second round.
Miami’s season ends with a 21-12 record. Junior guard Ja’Quan Newton led the Hurricanes with 16 points, while senior guard Devon Reed scored 12 points – the 27th time this season he scored in double digits. Freshman guard Bruce Brown added 11 points.
It was the final game in orange and green for Reed and senior forward Kamari Murphy, whose leadership throughout the season helped Miami win 21 games and secure this tournament bid.
“I thought Michigan State really controlled the backboards and executed very well,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Once the momentum shifted to their side, they totally controlled the last 10 minutes of the first half and were able to keep that control throughout the second half.”
Both the Hurricanes and Spartans got significant minutes from freshmen all season long but it was Michigan State’s freshmen trio of Miles Bridges, Nick Ward and Joshua Langford that led MSU’s massive comeback. The three combined to score 50 points, hitting 21 of their 31 shots and helping the Spartans shoot 57 percent from the field overall.
Michigan State posted a decisive edge in the paint and on the glass. The Spartans scored 40 points inside, had a 17-6 edge in second-chance points and outrebounded Miami 36-23.
The Hurricanes jumped out to that 10-point lead in the first three-plus minutes of the game. Reed hit a three after a Newton steal to give Miami a 5-0 lead. Brown converted another steal into a layup and the Hurricanes were up by a touchdown. Brown then banked in a trey before Bridges finally put the Spartans on the board with a three from the corner.
Newton responded with a spin and score -- drawing a foul in the process -- and giving the Hurricanes a 13-3 lead. DJ Vasiljevic fed Brown for a fastbreak dunk, causing Izzo to call timeout with the Spartans down 17-5 at the mark of the first half. Brown fed Izundu for a monster, one-handed dunk to push the lead back to 19-8. Miami had forced six turnovers in the first eight minutes and held MSU to 33 percent shooting. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, hit eight of their first 14 shots and scored 10 points off those turnovers.
After the Spartans scored five straight points, Newton hit a jumper to give Miami a 21-13 lead. But Michigan State then went on a 20-2 run over the ensuing six-plus minutes. In the process, the Spartans started asserting their presence inside, connecting on nine of their final 13 shots of the half to build a 38-27 lead heading into the locker room.
The Spartans then started the second half on a 13-5 run, giving them even more breathing room. Miami never got closer than the 11-point halftime deficit as MSU hit 64 percent of its shots in the second half.
Miami falls to 8-9 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, 4-3 under Larrañaga. The Hurricanes are 2-2 against Big Ten teams in the NCAAs.
Miami’s starters against Michigan State included Ja’Quan Newton, Bruce Brown, Davon Reed, Anthony Lawrence Jr. and Kamari Murphy.
This is the ninth time this season Miami has started with this lineup. The Hurricanes finished 4-5 on the year with this lineup.
Junior guard Ja’Quan Newton finished the evening with a team-high 16 points.
Senior guard Davon Reed finished the game with 12 points and two steals. He scored in double digits 27 times this season, including 24 of the last 28 games. Reed had hit at least one shot from long range in every game but vs. Duke, with multiple threes in 22 contests, led by seven at NC State and five at Duke and FAU. He had multiple threes in 18 of the last 24 games.
Freshman guard Bruce Brown finished the game with 11 points, four assists and two steals. He scored double digits in 11 of the last 17 outings, including his 30 points against UNC, 25 against Duke and 21 against UNC in the ACC Tournament. He had at least two assists in 23 contests.
Freshman forward Dewan Huell finished the game with eight points, his most since scoring 13 against Georgia Tech on Feb. 18.
Miami falls to 8-9 in the NCAA Tournament, 5-4 in the first round and 4-3 under head coach Jim Larrañaga.
Miami is now 1-1 all-time against Michigan State, while Coach L is now 4-3 all-time against the Spartans.
The Canes dropped to 2-8 on the year when heading into the locker room trailing.