PORTLAND, OR. — It’s not how you start a game, but how you end it.
On Thursday night, in their opener at the PK80 Invitational Tournament, the Michigan State Spartans looked like a different team in the second half when compared to the first half. The Spartans took on the DePaul Blue Demons without the services of sophomore Miles Bridges, who is still recovering from a sprained ankle sustained in their last outing.
Michigan State led 10-2 early on, but allowed the Blue Demons to stay within striking distance. The teams went into the break tied at 31-all, and the Spartans were struggling on both ends of the floor.
In the second half, Matt McQuaid put the team on his back and help the Spartans put separation between themselves and the Blue Demons.
MAUI, HI – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been crowned the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitationalchampions, after beating the Wichita State Shockers, 67-66, coming back from a 16-point deficit to take home the title.
The last time these two programs faced each other was in 2015 during the regional semi-final of the NCAA Tournament in which the Irish came out victorious, beating the Shockers in a close one, 81-70.
It was a game that the college basketball world wanted and expected to see on the last day of the tournament: #13 Notre Dame vs #6 Wichita State; two teams that always seem to fly under the radar, but are among the best in the country.
After a week full of basketball games in Maui, this one certainly didn’t disappoint.
MAUI, HI – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face their biggest opponent to date in #6 Wichita State after demolishing the LSU Tigers in the semi finals, 92-53.
The last time these two programs faced each other was during the regional semi-final of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, in which the Irish took down the Shockers, 81-70.
This was a game that everyone expected to happen, but also what everyone wanted as two of college basketball’s great but underrated programs will clash for the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament title.
Notre Dame is proving they are a force to be reckoned with on the court, behind their big three in Matt Farrell, Bonzie Colson and the emerging T.J. Gibbs, while Wichita State is constantly snubbed every year but have the talent to be a top three team.
MAUI, HI – After opening their 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament with a win over Division II’s Chaminade, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish took on the LSU Tigers, demolishing them 92-53 in the semi-finals.
The winner of this game would go on to play the sixth-ranked Wichita State Shockers in the finals, who punched their ticket earlier Tuesday with a win over the Marquette Golden Eagles, 80-66.
This was only the second-ever meeting between the Fighting Irish and the Tigers, with LSU claiming a victory back in 1990 in front of a then-record breaking crowd of over 68,000, led by NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal.
Notre Dame made sure this game had a different result, and boy did it ever.
MAUI, HI – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are now 4-0 on the year after they won 83-56 against the Chaminade Silverswords in their opening game of the 2017 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament.
This was the second time the Irish have faced the Silverswords, who are based out of Honolulu, Hawaii and play in Division II. Notre Dame leads the all time series 2-0.
The Irish will now face their second power conference opponent of the year after wins against the DePaul Blue Demons and a few smaller schools, in the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers, the Chicago State Cougars, and now the Silverswords.
Notre Dame will take on the LSU Tigers in the semi-finals, who used a late comeback in the second half to knock off the Michigan Wolverines in the final game of the quarter-finals on Monday night, 77-75.