About that anticipated Maui Invitational championship game between Kansas and Michigan State…you can forget it. The Spartans were just stunned by Virginia Tech in their first game in Hawaii.
Led by a three-point barrage, the Hokies beat third-ranked MSU 71-66 moments ago to move to 6-0 on the season. It is the first big win for new Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young.
Michigan State had won three straight games after dropping its season opener against Kentucky, including a comeback W at Seton Hall. However, a furious late comeback against the Hokies fell short.
Quite the W for a team many pegged to finish last or next-to-last in the ACC this season.
FINAL: Virginia Tech 71, No. 3 Michigan State 66.
So the team projected to finish 14th in the ACC, according to the league’s official preseason poll, just beat the preseason AP poll's No. 1 team. Incredible. What a win for Mike Young and his program.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) November 26, 2019
Five Hokies scored in double-figures, led by Landers Nolley’s 22 points. Virginia Tech connected on 10-of-21 three-pointers.
Despite winning the rebounding battle 43-27 and grabbing 17 offensive boards, Michigan State couldn’t keep pace with the Hokies. Sixteen turnovers didn’t help, nor did a quiet game from star point guard Cassius Winston (seven points on only 2-of-8 shooting).
With the win, Virginia Tech moves into the semifinals in Maui against Dayton, who throttled Georgia earlier today. The Spartans will face the Bulldogs in the consolation round.
The other side of the Maui Invitational bracket (Kansas-Chaminade, BYU-UCLA) gets going later tonight.