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NCAA Tournament Midwest Region: No. 2 seed Michigan State rallies for 67-62 win over No. 3 seed Kansas

Michigan State center Goran Suton, who scored a team-high 20 and had nine rebounds, goes up for a shot against Kansas guard Mario Little during the Spartans’ 67-62 victory.

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Michigan State center Goran Suton, who scored a team-high 20 and had nine rebounds, goes up for a shot against Kansas guard Mario Little during the Spartans’ 67-62 victory.

INDIANAPOLIS — Goran Suton had 20 points and nine rebounds and Michigan State was steady from the free-throw line, rallying to defeat defending NCAA champion Kansas 67-62 Friday night in the Midwest Region semifinals.

Kalin Lucas added 18 points for the second-seeded Spartans (29-6). He shot just 5-for-15 from the field but made all five of his free throws in the final minute. Overall, Michigan State went 16-of-17 from the line.

Michigan State overcame a 13-point deficit in the first half and moves on to face top-seeded Louisville on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

"Kansas is a very, very good team. I'm very proud of how our guys fought back," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said.

Sherron Collins scored 20 and Cole Aldrich had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Kansas (27-7).

The third-seeded Jayhawks led 60-57 when Michigan State's Durrell Summers was fouled. He made the first of two free throws, and the Spartans came up with the offensive rebound when he missed the second. Raymar Morgan, who hadn't made a basket yet, dunked to tie it at 60 with 1:46 left.

On Michigan State's next possession, Lucas spun, pump-faked in the lane, drew contact from Collins then dropped in a shot. He made the free throw for a three-point play to put the Spartans ahead 63-60 with 48 seconds left.

Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor made two free throws with 32 seconds left, but Lucas came back with two at the other end to make it 65-62.

Collins was fouled with 20 seconds to play. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Michigan State came up with the ball. Lucas made two more free throws with 14.4 seconds left to seal the game.

Kansas led 36-29 at halftime, but Michigan State started strong after the break. Draymond Green scored from in close and was fouled, and his 3-point play cut Kansas' lead to 40-39 just three minutes into the second half. Suton tied the score at 42 on a 3-pointer with just more than 15 minutes left.

Aldrich scored twice during a 6-0 run to put KU up 48-42, but the lead didn't last. A jumper in the lane by Travis Walton gave Michigan State a 51-49 edge, the Spartans' first advantage since the early minutes of the game.

Top-seeded Louisville crushes Arizona 103-64

Earl Clark scored 19 and had nine rebounds, and Louisville delivered one of the most crushing blowouts in region history with a 103-64 win over Arizona.

"We played great tonight because we really passed the ball beautifully," coach Rick Pitino said. "It's fun as a coach to watch the guys be so unselfish."

Should they follow the same script Sunday, against Michigan State in the Midwest final, the top-seeded Cardinals (31-5) will return to the Final Four for the first time since 2005.

The Big East has four teams in this weekend's region finals, including its regular-season and tournament champ, Louisville.

Louisville was efficient in the highest-scoring game in its NCAA Tournament history, shooting 57.6 percent from the field and dishing out 29 assists on 38 baskets. It shot 48 percent on 3-pointers and grabbed nearly as many offensive rebounds (11) as Arizona had on defense (17).

The Cardinals rattled the Wildcats with constant pressure, forcing 15 turnovers.

And the Louisville players savored every moment.

"We came out with more intensity, and that's what you've got to do when you're up big because it's hard to play with a lead," Clark said.

Chase Budinger scored 22 for No. 12 seed Arizona (21-14), which shot just 38 percent.

"They shot the ball well, they moved the ball well, and, unfortunately for us, we didn't have an answer," Arizona coach Russ Pennell said. "I think there was a reason Louisville was seeded No. 1 in the tournament, and they showed that tonight."

MIDWEST No. 1 Louisville 103 No. 12 Arizona 64
No. 2 Michigan State 67 No. 3 Kansas 62

SOUTH No. 2 Oklahoma 84 No. 3 Syracuse 71
No. 1 North Carolina 98 No. 4 Gonzaga 77

NCAA Tournament | Friday's games

Today's region finals

No. 1 Connecticut vs. No. 3 Missouri, 4:40, Ch. 10

No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 3 Villanova, 7:05, Ch. 10

More coverage, 6-7C

NCAA Tournament Midwest Region: No. 2 seed Michigan State rallies for 67-62 win over No. 3 seed Kansas 03/27/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:00am]
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