Joey Hauser scored 17 points and No. 7 seed Michigan State clamped down defensively on No. 10 seed Southern California in the second half on Thursday for a 72-62 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament’s East Region.
Coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans (20-12) will face the winner of the Vermont-Marquette matchup on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16. Marquette coach Shaka Smart sat on press row for part of the second half to get a closer look at what could be his next opponent.
Smart watched as Michigan State ramped up its defensive intensity after halftime to muzzle the streaky Trojans (22-11), who were knocked out in the tournament’s first round for the second straight year.