March Madness: Michigan State upends No. 2 Marquette, and Shaka Smart's Sweet 16 drought continues

Marquette got off to a good start on Sunday with a steal after the opening tip that led to a 2-0 lead.

But No. 7 seed Michigan State responded with an 11-0 run and turned back multiple Golden Eagles rallies in a 69-60 win to upend No. 2 Marquette and advance to the Sweet 16. The Golden Eagles became the fourth top-two seed to fall short of the Sweet 16, joining No. 1s Purdue and Kansas and No. 2 Arizona with early exits.

With the win, Tom Izzo's Spartans advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since a 2019 trip to the Final Four. For Marquette, the loss spells more postseason disappointment for head coach Shaka Smart, who hasn't led a team to the NCAA tournament's second weekend since a Sweet 16 trip with VCU in 2013.

Smart has since built winners at Texas and now Marquette. But he didn't coach an NCAA tournament win in six seasons in Austin that saw the Longhorns lose the the first round of each of their three NCAA trips. Marquette lost in the second round as a No. 9 seed in 2022, Smart's first season as head coach.

Marquette likewise hasn't advanced to the tournament's second weekend since a 2013 trip to the Elite Eight under head coach Buzz Williams.

The Spartans won despite a frigid effort from beyond the arc. A 39.4% 3-point shooting team for the season, Michigan State shot just 2 of 16 (12.5%) from distance on Sunday. It founds its edge inside the arc and from the free-throw stripe, where it connected on 19 of 22 attempts.

The Spartans also repeatedly flustered Big East Player of the Year Tyler Kolek. The Marquette point guard finished with seven points, five assists and six turnovers while shooting 2 of 7 from the field.