SPOKANE, Wash. - The celebration was barely over, and already Michigan State had to start thinking about life in the NCAA Tournament without injured Kalin Lucas.
Korie Lucious, filling in for the Spartans' star guard, hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to cap a frenetic finish and give depleted Michigan State an 85-83 victory over Maryland yesterday in the second round of the Midwest Regional.
After Lucas went down with a leg injury, the Spartans blew a 16-point lead in the second half. Greivis Vasquez's basket put Maryland ahead 83-82 with 6 seconds left, but Michigan State inbounded immediately and Draymond Green pushed the ball up the floor.
Green passed to Lucious at the top of the key. He dribbled once and launched the game-winner as time expired, setting off a wild celebration as jubilant Spartans players streamed off the bench.
"I had an open look. Time was running down. I just shot it and it went in," Lucious said. "I didn't want the time to go out without getting a shot up."
"I think I'm just going to enjoy this today and I'll worry about Northern Iowa tomorrow morning," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "This is going to be the 24-hour rule. We're going to enjoy this."
Moments after his team's thrilling victory, Izzo revealed sobering news about Lucas, saying the junior guard likely has a torn Achilles' tendon. That would make it almost impossible for him to play in the round of 16 - or beyond. "That poor kid, he was devastated," Izzo said. "It's a shame for him. But it's part of athletics and we're just going to have to move on."
Izzo added that the diagnosis was not definite because Lucas had yet to have an X-ray on MRI, "but the prognosis is 85 percent of that."
Vasquez's 26 points led the fourth-seeded Terps (24-9).
Evan Turner rebounded from one of the worst shooting nights of his career with 24 points, and second-seeded Ohio State beat foul- and turnover-plagued No. 10 Georgia Tech to advance to the Sweet 16 against Tennessee.