Spartans hold off Harvard, Sweet 16 bound

Michigan State's Adreian Payne dunks against Harvard in the second half during the third round of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Michigan State's Adreian Payne dunks against Harvard in the second half during the third round of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, March 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Branden Dawson scored a career-high 26 points to help fourth-seeded Michigan State fend off a wild Harvard rally Saturday for an 80-73 victory in the NCAA tournament.

The 12th-seeded Crimson (27-5) trailed by 16 early in the second half but took a 62-60 lead when Laurent Rivard hit a 3-pointer with 7:12 remaining. Travis Trice answered with a 3 of his own on the next possession and the Spartans (28-8) never trailed again.

Michigan State made its 12th Sweet 16 in the last 17 years. Gary Harris had 18 points and five assists for the Spartans, who will play Virginia or Memphis next Friday at Madison Square Garden.

Wesley Saunders led Harvard with 22 points. The Crimson won the second tournament game in school history two nights ago.

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