Michigan State’s A.J. Hoggard celebrates against Marquette in the second half Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. Michigan State won, 69-60. Paul Sancya/Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tom Izzo leaned on star guard and native New Yorker Tyson Walker to get Michigan State to Madison Square Garden for the Sweet 16.

Walker, a fourth-year player who grew up in Westbury on Long Island, delivered against second-seeded Marquette in March Madness on Sunday night, scoring 23 points and punctuating Michigan State’s 69-60 victory with a steal and his first ever collegiate dunk late in the game.

And Walker wants to make sure his 68-year-old Hall of Fame coach has a quintessential Big Apple experience.

“It means everything,” said Walker, who played two years at Northeastern before transferring to Michigan State. “Just growing up, seeing everything, playing at the Garden. Just to make those shots, look over see my dad, see how excited he was. That means everything. And I just owe Coach some pizza now. And a cab ride.”

Joey Hauser – a Marquette transfer – scored 14 points and A.J. Hoggard had 13 as seventh-seeded Michigan State (21-12) took over in the last three minutes. The Spartans advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in four years and will play third-seeded Kansas State in the East Region semifinals on Thursday.

“I’ve been in Elite Eight games; I’ve been in the Final Four – that was as intense and tough a game as I’ve been in my career,” Izzo said. “And a lot of credit goes to Marquette and (Coach) Shaka (Smart) and how they played, too.”


Izzo reached his 15th regional semifinal and won his record 16th March Madness game with a lower-seeded team – one more than Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, who retired after this season.

Olivier-Maxence Prosper led Marquette (29-7) with 16 points and Kam Jones had 14 points, including three 3-pointers, for the Big East champions.

KANSAS STATE 75, KENTUCKY 69: Markquis Nowell scored 23 of his 27 points after halftime, and Kansas State overcame a horrid start from outside by hitting a couple of clutch 3-pointers while topping Kentucky in the second round at Greensboro, North Carolina.

The win sends the third-seeded Wildcats (25-9) to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2018, and it came thanks to a series of big shots that finally pushed them through in a tight game.

They’ll play Michigan State in the East Region semifinals.

Kansas State missed its first 13 3-pointers and sat at 2 for 17 for the game until the outside shots started falling.


FLORIDA ATLANTIC 78, FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON 70: Johnell Davis scored 29 points, Alijah Martin added 14 and Florida Atlantic ended Fairleigh Dickinson’s magical moment by outlasting the No. 16 seed in Columbus, Ohio.

The ninth-seeded Owls (33-3) needed everything they had to put away the Knights (21-16), who stunned top-seeded Purdue on Friday night in just the second 16-over-1 upset in men’s tournament history.

Florida Atlantic will play Tennessee in the Sweet 16 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Demetre Roberts scored 20 points and Sean Moore had 14 for FDU.


XAVIER 84, PITTSBURGH 73: Jack Nunge scored 18 points, Adam Kunkel added 15 on five first-half 3-pointers, and No. 3 seed Xavier beat 11th-seeded Pittsburgh in Greensboro, North Carolina, to reach its first Sweet 16 since 2017.


Colby Jones had 10 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, and Souley Boum and Jerome Hunter each chipped in with 14 points as all five Xavier starters scored in double digits.

Xavier distributed the ball well, particularly early on with 17 assists on 19 baskets in the first half to build a 48-34 lead at the break. The Musketeers finished with 22 assists.

Xavier (27-9) moves on to play No. 2 seed Texas on Friday in the Midwest Region semifinals in Kansas City, Missouri.

Blake Hinson scored 18 points and Jamarius Burton had 16 for Pitt (24-12).

Nunge set the tone early, dominating the paint with eight points in the first 10 minutes, while Jones knocked down two 3s as the Musketeers built a 28-18 lead.

Xavier then blew the game open with a 12-2 run behind Kunkel, who made two 3s and threw an alley-oop dunk to Nunge. Kunkel followed with his fifth 3 of the first half to give Xavier a 19-point lead with 1:26 left.



UCONN 70, SAINT MARY’S 55: Adama Sanogo scored 24 points and Jordan Hawkins delivered from the 3-point line in the second half as UConn pulled away from Saint Mary’s at Albany, New York, to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in nine years.

No. 4 seed UConn (27-8) advanced to the West Regional in Las Vegas on Thursday. Next up is eighth-seeded Arkansas, which knocked off No. 1 seed Kansas.

Sanogo followed up his 28-point game in the Huskies’ NCAA tourney opener against Iona with another powerful and efficient performance in the paint. The 245-pound junior was 11 for 16 from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds, dominating a big-man matchup with Mitchell Saxen (six points, three rebounds and four fouls).

Saint Mary’s (27-8) of the West Coast Conference failed to get out of the first weekend of the tournament for the second straight season as a No. 5 seed.



CREIGHTON 70, BAYLOR 55: Ryan Nembhard scored a career-high 30 points and No. 6 seed Creighton (23-12) found its shooting touch to beat third-seeded Baylor (23-11) in Denver, earning a spot in the Sweet 16 for the second time in three seasons.

With Baylor heavily focused on containing big man Ryan Kalkbrenner, Nembhard and the Bluejays went to work from outside. They shot 45.8% from 3-point range after a 3-for-20 showing in a first-round win over North Carolina State. They also went 22 for 22 from the free-throw line, including 10 for 10 from Nembhard.

The Bluejays will meet 15th-seeded Princeton in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday.

LJ Cryer finished with 30 points for Baylor, which lost in the second round for the second consecutive year after winning the championship in 2021.

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