The Michigan State Spartans took a 31-27 lead into halftime, but saw their four-point lead turn into a four-point deficit after the first six minutes of the second half as the Spartans could not buy a bucket with the exception of Brenden Dawson who was simply marvelous.
Dawson, a junior from Gary, Indiana, led all scorers with 24 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds to lead the Spartans to the Elite 8 with a nail-biting 61-59 win over the No. 1 seed Virginia Cavaliers. This marks the eighth appearance in the Elite 8 for Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo.
Adreian Payne added 16 points and six rebounds and was incredibly clutch down the stretch as Gary Harris, Keith Appling and the rest of the team had difficulty scoring against the Cavaliers defense. He put the team on his back and showed he had ice water in his veins from the free-throw line, sinking all four of his attempts.
Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon led the charge for Virginia as they scored 34 total points, respectively, but it came on 10-28 shooting as their remarkable season comes to an end in the Sweet 16. The ACC champs are the second No. 1 seed to go down after Wichita State lost to Kentucky in the round of 32.
The Spartans play at No. 7 Connecticut Huskies on CBS at 2:20 p.m. on Sunday for the opportunity to be in the Final Four. The Huskies were led by DeAndre Daniels and All-American guard Shabazz Napier in their five-point win over the Iowa State Cyclones.