Spartans show finishing kick, reach final after trailing by 16
CHICAGO – Tom Izzo mentioned Magic Johnson and Steve Smith. He credited the greats from the past for setting the tone, planting the seeds for this ritual.
March rolls around and Michigan State kicks into gear. It's happening again.
Travis Trice scored 20 points, and Michigan State rallied to beat No. 8 Maryland 62-58 on Saturday in the Big Ten semifinals.
The Spartans (23-10) trailed by 16 in the first half, went on a big run early in the second after Izzo lit into his team at the break and took control in the closing minutes. Izzo's team will try to make it two straight titles and three in four years when it takes on No. 6 Wisconsin on Sunday.
"I think because we have so many great alums that really look at this month and they call from everywhere and they call our players, and our players, I think, somewhat feel a little obligated," said Izzo, who has led Michigan State to six Final Fours and one NCAA championship in 20 years. "That's not a bad thing, you know, to live up to the standards of the people that built the program."
Melo Trimble led Maryland (27-6) with 22 points, but hit just two of his last 11 shots. "I'm proud of my team — 27 wins now," coach Mark Turgeon said. "We're looking forward to what lies ahead."