After a one-year absence the Spartans returned to the Sweet Sixteen with a 68-46 victory over Florida in the second round.
Seventh-seeded MSU (21-12) outplayed the second-seeded Gators (24-8) from start to finish in the rematch of the 2000 NCAA national championship game.
The win marks MSUs third straight win over Florida and kept MSU head coach Tom Izzos record in second round play perfect at 5-0.
Freshman guard Maurice Ager scored 14 points off the bench to lead the Spartans in scoring, while sophomore guard Chris Hill poured in 12 points and freshman forward Erazem Lorbek scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds.
MSU will advance to San Antonio for a regional semifinal showdown with the sixth-seeded Maryland Terrapins (20-9) on Friday night.
The Spartans got off to a torrid start, hitting 70 percent from the field in the first half and for the second game they got their running game going.
After getting out to an 11-10 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half, MSU outscored the Gators 26-17 to take a 37-27 halftime led. The Spartans momentum carried over into the second half, when MSU kept pouring it on the offensive end and executing an excellent defensive game plan.
Florida looked flustered offensively all night long. The Gators shot just 37 percent from the field in their lowest scoring output of the season. Coming into tournament play the Gators were averaging better than 75 points a game.
The Gators, who are known for their outside shooting, connected on just 5-of-22 from 3-point range.
The Spartans, on the other hand, hit 6-of-16 from 3-point range and were able to penetrate the Gator defense and convert on several uncontested slam dunks.