UCLA OT’S MICHIGAN STATE IN MADNESS FIRST FOUR!

By Harry Allison

Last night’s “First Four” saved the best for last.

UCLA finally knocked off fellow 11 seed Michigan State, 86-80 in overtime.

The Spartans held leads for most of the evening but the Bruins kept coming back, helped by 50 percent shooting from three-point range.

Michigan State shot very well, too, but it is UCLA that moves on to the main field to face BYU, the No. 6 seed in the West, on Saturday. The Bruins suffered a setback, however, when a key player, sophomore guard Johnny Juzang, needed help getting off the court in overtime with a right ankle injury.

The first three games weren’t nearly as aesthetically pleasing, with no team scoring more than 60 points amid poor shooting almost across the board, but they did establish a theme for the evening: No lead is safe.

Texas Southern came back from 10 points down at halftime to beat Mount St. Mary’s in the first game; Drake twice overcame 12-point deficits to beat Wichita State in the second; and Norfolk State squandered a 16-point halftime lead before nipping Appalachian State by one.

All that set the stage for UCLA to overcome an 11-point deficit at halftime of its game against Michigan State. In other words, the madness has begun.

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