With the game tied at 61 and 8.4 seconds left, Neitzel took the inbounds and took it to the top of the 3-point line. Neitzel then crossed over twice and benefited from a screen, driving down an open lane and scoring the winning basket for the Spartans.
"Give him credit, he did a heck of a job," head coach Tom Izzo said about Neitzel's winning drive. "He busted right through. I think they were worried about a shot and they were pretty spread apart."
Although the game was a battle of two star freshman, the deciding basket came from the junior Neitzel, who was one of the few upperclassmen among both teams.
One of the top recruits in 2006, 6-foot-9 225-pound Kevin Durant scored 21 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, dominating in the first half but going somewhat cold in the second half.
On the other side of the ball, Raymar Morgan's 18 points made him the only freshman in MSU history to score 10 or more points in his first four games.
The deciding factor came on the boards, although MSU held a slight advantage 38-34, the Spartans pulled down the big rebounds in the second half, especially with under 5 minutes to go. Texas coach Rick Barnes pointed to the rebound margin in the second half as the difference as MSU out rebounded the Longhorns 26-18 in the second half.
"Our defense kept us in it and our rebounding let it get away," Barnes lamented in his post game remarks.
The Spartans shot over 50 percent from three-point, with Neitzel going 3-6, Maurice Joseph 3-5 and Morgan 2-3.
Sophomore A.J. Abrams scored 22 points, shooting 6-13 from three-point, keeping the Longhorns in the game throughout.
Following Neitzel's basket, Texas had one last shot but Abrams shot bounced off the rim and out.
MSU led most of the first half until Texas went on a 14-3 run with about 5 minutes to go in the half. The Spartans battled back with a pair of buckets inside by Drew Naymick and the Longhorns led at half 40-36 in a tight game.
Michigan State now advances to play Maryland (4-0) in the finals of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament on Friday night at 9:30 p.m. EST.
Texas will play in the consolation game against St. Johns.