Penn State beats Michigan State in unique Palestra Big Ten game

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Penn State beats Michigan State in unique Palestra Big Ten game

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Tom Izzo got his bucket-list game.

But the legendary Michigan State didn’t get a win.

In the first Big Ten regular-season game ever played at the Palestra, Penn State rode strong performances from Philly natives Lamar Stevens and Tony Carr to a 72-63 win over the visiting Spartans on Saturday afternoon.

Stevens had a game-high 18 points and six rebounds while Carr had 14. Another Philly native, Mike Watkins, finished with 11 points. Payton Banks, whose sister played her home games at the Palestra for Penn, also had 11 after scoring 20 in the Nittany Lions’ last game at the Palestra — a 63-57 win over Drexel a little over a year ago.

Nick Ward led Michigan State with 16 points.

The unique game, played in front of a sold-out crowd and shown on ESPN, was set up because Penn State coach Patrick Chambers wanted a home game in Philly since six of his players hail from the region. And Izzo wanted the chance to coach in the historic gym for the first time in his legendary career.

Both got their wish but only Chambers walked away with the win as the Nittany Lions (10-7, 2-2) snapped Michigan State’s four-game winning streak and handed the Spartans (11-6, 3-1) their first Big Ten loss of the season.

Leading by 11 with under five minutes to go, Penn State had its lead whittled down to six before Carr hit a big bucket and the Nittany Lions came through with a couple of key steals to fend off the perennial powerhouse in front of a packed crowd filled with fans who braved the snow.

Earlier, the venerable gym got loud after Banks drilled a three-pointer to put Penn State up 27-19 with 7:45 left in the first half and even louder when another Banks' trey gave the Nittany Lions a 37-25 lead four minutes later.

After the Spartans pulled within five, Penn State scored the final seven points of the half — two buckets from Stevens and a three from Carr in the final seconds — to take a 44-32 lead into the break.

Penn State shot 60 percent from the field in the first half while committing only three turnovers.

More coming …

NCAA Tournament Wrap: Gonzaga reaches 1st Final Four; Oregon upsets Kansas

NCAA Tournament Wrap: Gonzaga reaches 1st Final Four; Oregon upsets Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tyler Dorsey poured in 27 points, Dillon Brooks added 17 and plucky Oregon ended Kansas' romp through the NCAA Tournament with a 74-60 victory Saturday night that gave the Ducks their first Final Four trip in nearly 80 years.

Dylan Ennis added 12 points for the Ducks (33-5), who took the lead with 16 minutes left in the first half and never trailed again, giving coach Dana Altman his first trip to the national semifinals.

They'll face the winner of Sunday's game between North Carolina and Kentucky in Glendale, Arizona.

Player of the year front-runner Frank Mason III had 21 points in his final game for the Jayhawks (31-5), who had rolled to the Elite Eight by an average margin of 30 points. But their dream season ended with a thud just 40 minutes from campus on a night where very little went right (see full recap).

Gonzaga beats Xavier to reach 1st Final Four
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Nigel Williams-Goss scored 23 points while orchestrating Gonzaga's efficient offense, and the Zags finally shook their overrated tag by routing Xavier 83-59 on Saturday to reach the Final Four for the first time.

Gonzaga (36-1) has been dogged by criticism through the years despite winning consistently, in part for playing in a weak conference but also for never making the Final Four.

On the cusp of history, the Zags took it head on with a superb all-around game to give coach Mark Few the one missing piece of his resume.

Gonzaga found the range from the perimeter after struggling the first three NCAA games, making 12 of 24 from 3-point range. The defense, a soft spot in the past, shut down the underdog and 11th-seeded Musketeers (24-14) to win the West Region.

The Zags will face the winner between South Carolina and Florida in next week's Final Four in Arizona (see full recap).

Brawl breaks out in stands at Liacouras Center during celebrity game

Brawl breaks out in stands at Liacouras Center during celebrity game

A large fight broke out at a celebrity basketball game at Temple University’s Liacouras Center Saturday afternoon.

The game, which featured former Temple athletes as well as professional athletes including NFL player Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, began at 3 p.m. Saturday. At some point during the game, a brawl featuring several men, broke out in the stands. The fight lasted for more than a minute and a half before the men involved began to disperse.

There were no reported injuries and no arrests, according to a spokesperson for Temple University. Officials have not yet revealed what started the fight.