NEW YORK – The No. 7 seed Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team’s season comes to a close after falling 98-93 in overtime to the No. 3-seed Kansas State Wildcats in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
MSU couldn’t stop the wizardry of Wildcats magician Markquis Nowell who pulled out all the tricks in front of his hometown as Mr. New York lit up Madison Square Garden, setting a tournament record 19 assists to go along with his 20 points for a massive double-double to help his team advance to the Elite Eight.
The mighty mite was dropping dimes like loose change.
“All glory to God,” said Nowell. He gave me all of these gifts and these talents and I’m just glad that I get the platform to showcase them. I have a tone of faith as these guys work so hard. My coaching staff works so hard and we just love each other like coach said.
Guard Keyontae Johnson had 20 points in the victory over the Spartans. His historical journey is one of the best known not just in the tournament but in all of sports. He collapsed on the court in December on 2020 while playing for the Florida Gators. He spent a total of three days in a coma.
To keep his hoop dreams alive, Johnson turned down a $5 million insurance policy to play for the Wildcats and now he’s in the Elite Eight.
The Spartans were the only Big Ten team still dancing and they were the only team to be unranked entering the tournament to make it to the third week, so it’s safe to say they outplayed expectations.
The Spartans had five players score 13 or more points in the victory with junior guard A.J. Hoggard leading all scorers with 25 points.
Senior forward Joey Hauser dropped 18 points, senior guard Tyson Walker added 16 with sophomore Jaden Akins scoring 14 and senior guard Malik Hall adding 13 in the loss.
The Big Ten has not won a national championship since Mateen Cleaves in 2000.
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