5:05 PM ET, March 22, 2009
MINNEAPOLIS -- There is an impressive statistic that has been building over time in East Lansing, Mich., one that Michigan State coach Tom Izzo treasures above all others.In the last 12 years, every Spartan who has stayed for four years has appeared in a Final Four.
• Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Travis Walton scored a career-high 18 points, moving Michigan State into the Sweet 16 for the eighth time in 12 years. That's more appearances in the last dozen years of any school besides Duke.
• The Spartans outrebounded USC 33 to 23, and the Trojans were just 1-for-10 from 3-point range.
• Michigan State improved to 7-0 all-time as a No. 2 seed.
• Dwight Lewis had 19 points and DeMar Derozan added 18 points for USC.
-- ESPN research
When defending champion Kansas meets Michigan State, the little guys may tip the balance. Story
seeded Spartans to a 74-69 victory over 10th-seeded USC on Sunday in the Midwest Regional, putting Michigan State in the round of 16 for the eighth time in 12 years."There's no question that of all the players on our team, Travis wants to keep playing probably more than anybody," Izzo said. "He's the only recruit in those years that has been here four years that hasn't gone to a Final Four. And I think that drives him."He entered the game averaging 4.9 points and was shut out against Robert Morris in the first round. So even his coach couldn't believe it when he went 8-for-13 on Sunday.
Rittenberg: Moment Of FameMichigan State's Travis Walton enjoyed his moment as an offensive star for all of 15 minutes or so, writes Adam Rittenberg. Blog
NCAA Mens Tournament
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||23-57 (.404)||22-51 (.431)|
|3P Made-Attempted||1-10 (.100)||6-13 (.462)|
|FT Made-Attempted||22-26 (.846)||24-31 (.774)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (0/0)||18 (0/0)|
|» Mar 22, 2009||@MSU 74, USC 69||Recap|