Spartans escape Maryland at the buzzer

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Michigan State was up by nine points with two minutes left. The Spartans had dominated the entire game.

And then things went completely bonkers.

Maryland went on a 10-0 run to take the lead with 36 seconds left.

Draymond Green jumper gave the Spartans back the lead with 20 seconds left.

A drive from Greivis Vasquez took it back for Maryland with six seconds left.

And -- with both sides of the arena staring in disbelief -- sophomore guard Korie Lucious, who was filling in for the injured Kalin Lucas, ripped a 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave Michigan State an 85-83 victory in the second round of the Midwest Regional.

A moment. I need to catch my breath.

First, how many programs can beat a quality team in the NCAA tourney with two starting guards out with injuries?

Maybe the sort of team that's headed to its third straight Sweet 16, whose coach is 15-3 in second-round games and has made five Final Fours in 11 seasons.

That would be Tom Izzo and Michigan State, which looked every bit like a threat to make another Final Four.

Some thoughts:

  • Michigan State played the entire second half without two-time All-Big Ten point guard Lucas, who reinjured his ankle in the first half. Guard Chris Allen only played four minutes -- one in the second half -- due to a sprained foot. The only remaining healthy staring guard did a fairly good job picking up the slack: Durrell Summers scored 26 points, hitting six of eight 3-pointers.

  • The Spartans dominated the boards, outrebounding the Terrapins 33-20.

  • Lucious deserves plenty of credit, and not just because of his final shot. With Lucas and Allen out, he became the primary ball-handler. While the Terps full-court press gave the Spartans some trouble, Lucious did a solid job running the offense and finished with 13 points and two assists.