NCAA

Michigan State ends Zion Williamson, Duke's quest for a National Championship

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Michigan State ends Zion Williamson, Duke's quest for a National Championship

WASHINGTON  -- Cassius Winston put Michigan State on his shoulders and carried the Spartans into the Final Four.

The do-everything point guard took over the game when his team faced its biggest deficit and led second-seeded Michigan State to a 68-67 victory over overall No. 1 seed Duke on Sunday in the East Region final.

Duke boasted the biggest stars in Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, but Winston shined brightest to put Michigan State in the Final Four for the first time since 2015. Winston had 20 points and 10 assists, made nine of his 23 shots and never shied away from shooting.

Michigan State will play Texas Tech in one national semifinal Saturday in Minneapolis. Virginia faces Auburn in the other.

Winston was the facilitator but the Spartans received a huge boost from their oldest player. Kenny Goins, a fifth-year senior who missed his first four 3-point attempts, drained the go-ahead shot with 34.3 seconds left to put Michigan State up 68-66.

Duke had the chance to tie but Barrett missed the first of two free throws with 5.2 seconds left. Duke was helpless with only four fouls, and Winston was able to get the ball away from the Duke defenders and dribble out the clock.

Michigan State is in the Final Four for the eighth time under coach Tom Izzo, who beat Duke's Mike Krzyzewski for just the second time in 13 meetings and second time in seven NCAA Tournament games. Izzo is in the Final Four for the eighth time in his career and tied Krzyzewski what would have been a record 13th appearance.

"I love you all, I appreciate you all. I'll see you in Minneapolis" Izzo, who wiped away tears, told the celebrating crowd that included Michigan State alumnus Magic Johnson.

Izzo had to navigate foul trouble to big man Xavier Tillman, who was essential in guarding Williamson and factoring in on the offensive end. Tillman played 29 minutes and scored 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting.

Duke fell one step short of the Final Four after finally coming out on the losing end of a nail-biter. The Blue Devils won their previous two NCAA Tournament games by a combined three points, and escaped in the final seconds only when their opponents missed at the buzzer.

Williamson finished with a game-high 24 points and 14 rebounds. Barrett had 21 points -- but not the one that could have sent the game into overtime.

REDDISH BACK

Cam Reddish didn't start for Duke but the freshman was the first player off the bench two minutes in after being a game-time decision. Reddish missed the Sweet 16 victory against Virginia Tech on Friday with a left knee injury.

Reddish missed his first two shots before his two free throws gave Duke its first lead at 22-21 with 7:10 left in the first half.

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While this is the Spartans' 10th Final Four, it's the first in program history for their opponent, Texas Tech, which beat Gonzaga to win the West Region.

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Kyle Guy urges public to take coronavirus seriously after losing grandfather

Kyle Guy urges public to take coronavirus seriously after losing grandfather

Former Virginia Cavaliers guard and current NBA player Kyle Guy is urging the public to take the coronavirus seriously after his grandfather passed away as a result of COVID-19 on Friday.

While sharing the news of his grandfather's passing on social media Saturday, Guy used his platform to share words of advice on how to limit the disease's effect. 

"I beg you, don't let this be your wake up call," Guy wrote in a tweet. "Take this seriously and stay safe."

The 2019 NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player offered further advice in an Instagram post about his grandfather, saying: "Stay safe and continue to LISTEN to the rules put in place for this worldwide pandemic. We will get through this."

Well over 1 million people have been inflicted with the coronavirus, and the disease has claimed the lives of over 60,000, according to the World Health Organization. As a result, professional sports are on hold and most states in the United States have placed restrictions on large gatherings and non-essential travel. 

Teammates and a slew of others in the basketball community, including Buddy Hield and former Maryland forward Bruno Fernando, responded to Guy's posts sharing their sympathy. 

In his Instagram post, Guy, who has appeared in two games as a rookie, also shared a story about the impact a tongue-in-cheek remark from his grandfather had on his NBA pursuit.

"When I was 7 or 8 my grandfather had me sign a piece of paper saying he'd be my manager (jokingly) if I ever made it to the NBA," Guy wrote in the caption. "Something as small as that was always on my mind while I tried to make my dream come true. I know he's up there waiting for his cut."

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Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

With Wrestlemania 36 underway this weekend, Maryland football coach Mike Locksley sat down on Instagram Live with former Terps defensive lineman and current WWE superstar Mojo Rawley to talk about his new career path. 

Rawley's real name is Dean Muhtadi, and he played for the Terps in for two years as a Division III transfer. He finished third on team in sacks that season and despite going undrafted in 2009, found his way to an NFL camp with the Packers. 

Muhtadi spent 2009 with Green Bay and 2010 with the Cardinals before suffering an injury that landed him on injured reserve. It was then where Muhtadi found a new career path thanks to two of his best friends. 

"Dan Gronkowski and Chris Gronkowski played with me at Maryland, two of my closest friends," Rawley said on "Late Night With Locks". "Their dad was one of our coach's roommates in the WWE, so it seemed like a natural fit. We were watching together, and I kinda made a comment like, 'this would be awesome if I could be one of [the wrestlers]. Mr. Gronk made the call and the rest was history."

Rawley has been a WWE superstar and currently stands as Rob Gronkowski's hype man. The former Patriots tight end is WWE's most recent signee and is Wrestlemania 36's host.

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