Spartans hold off Harvard, UConn upsets Nova

Michigan State 80 Harvard 73

For 18 seconds, it was happening. Harvard owned basketball, too.

Laurent Rivard made a 3-pointer from the corner, flashed his 3-point goggles toward an unhinged group of Crimson fans and ran down the court. The Ivy Leaguers had overcome a 16-point deficit to take a two-point lead over a Michigan State team that always comes up big at March Madness.

The next time down the court, Travis Trice came back with a 3 to put the Spartans back in the lead. A few minutes later, Michigan State was out of danger — not by much, though — on the way to an 80-73 victory that put basketball back in a more familiar, but arguably less-scintillating orbit.

Led by a career-high 26 points from Branden Dawson, the fourth-seeded Spartans (28-8) moved onto the Sweet 16 for the 12th time in the last 17 seasons. They’ll play Virginia or Memphis next Friday at Madison Square Garden.

UConn 77 Nova 65

Villanova becomes the first 2-seed to lose, falling to their old Big East mates

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