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Spartans advance — barely

SAN ANTONIO — Once again, Maryland got a last-second chance to hang onto its national title. But when Steve Blake missed at the buzzer, the Terrapins' reign was over.

Freshman Paul Davis hit a leaning bank shot with 4.7 seconds left and Michigan State defeated the defending champions 60-58 Friday night to advance to the South Regional final.

The senior-led Terrapins overcame a 13-point deficit with 8:07 left, taking a lead in the final minute. Davis' powerful dunk tied with 50.6 seconds left, and he put the Spartans ahead when he muscled along the baseline for the go-ahead basket.

Blake then took the inbounds pass and dribbled up the floor to the top of the key. He got a good look at the basket, but the ball hit the back iron and bounced away.

After beating North Carolina-Wilmington on a last-second shot in the first round, the Terps seemed convinced this one would fall, too. When it didn't, they stood slump-shouldered and stunned as the Spartans wildly celebrated their eighth win in nine games.

Davis had a team-high 13 points to put Michigan State (22-12) a win away from its third Final Four in four years, an incredible feat for a team that was 14-11 on Feb. 23.

The seventh-seeded Spartans, the lowest seed left in the tournament, will play Sunday against top-seeded Texas. The Longhorns advanced by beating Connecticut 82-78.

The Terrapins (20-10) were the only team that made the Final Four the last two years — and the only one to even make the regional finals both times.