The Dayton Flyers and their fans expected to see No. 3 Michigan State on Tuesday if they won their first-round game in the Maui Invitational. Virginia Tech had other plans.
The Hokies upset the Spartans 71-66 on Monday and will play the Flyers at 8 p.m. (Ohio time) Tuesday in the semifinals. Dayton advanced with an 80-61 victory against Georgia in the first game of the tournament.
“A heck of a Dayton team,” said first-year Virginia Tech coach Mike Young. “I just saw just a little bit of them versus Georgia today. Holy smokes, are they a good-looking outfit. And they have a great coach. So a lot of work left to do.”
Virginia Tech (6-0) moved from 41st to 30th in the Ken Pomeroy ratings by beating Michigan State, which ranks first in those ratings. Dayton (4-0) moved from 53rd to 40th.
The Hokies made 10 of 21 3-pointers (47.6 percent) against the Spartans and committed only nine turnovers to Michigan State’s 16. Landers Nolley II scored 22 points.
Michigan State trimmed a 10-point deficit to one with just over a minute to play. A 3-pointer by Nolley gave the Hokies a 68-64 lead with 50 seconds remaining. The Hokies clinched the victory at the free-throw line on their final possessions.
Virginia Tech held Michigan State star Cassius Winston to seven points. He was limited to 25 minutes because of foul trouble. It was Michigan State’s first loss since the death of Winston’s brother Zachary.
“Cassius, you know, it's sad because for me,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said, “because at a tournament like this, I would like all the people in Hawaii and everybody else to see, he was a shell of himself today. I think it's been a lot on him. I told you that. No excuses for me. I did the poor job. But I couldn't do what that kid has done. No way. And he just looked tired the whole time. The mental stress that he's going through and because he doesn't practice as much right now, physically I don't think he's in the shape he needs to be in.”
Dayton and Virginia Tech last played in 2000 when the Hokies were in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Virginia Tech leads the series 8-5 and won seven of 10 games between 1996 and 2000.
The Hokies reached the Sweet 16 last season and lost coach Buzz Williams to Texas A&M. Young was hired after 17 seasons at Wofford. He took guided Wofford to a 30-5 mark last season.
MORE ON FLYERS
» LOOKIN BACK: Last Dayton vs. Georgia game was in 1973
» BIG JOB: Planning Maui trip takes months of work
» NOVEMBER TOURNAMENTS: Photos from last five years
» NCAA VIBE: Maui a unique tournament
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