JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's probably the same play suspended LSU Coach Will Wade would have called.
After all, it worked several times during the regular season. And now it has sent the Tigers to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006.
Tremont Waters drove by three defenders and scooped in a banking layup with 1.6 seconds remaining to give third-seeded LSU a 69-67 victory over sixth-seeded Maryland on Saturday.
"Great players make great plays, and he made a great play," interim coach Tony Benford said.
After Maryland's Eric Ayala failed to get off a shot from midcourt before the final buzzer, LSU players mobbed Waters under the basket. They could have done the same to Skylar Mays, who scored 16 points and hit a huge three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining that put the Tigers (28-6) up 67-64.
Jalen Smith answered on the other end, sending the packed crowd into a frenzy and prompting LSU to call timeout.
Benford dialed up the final play for Waters, a dynamic sophomore who has been terrific all season.
"The players knew exactly what was coming," Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon said. "We all knew what was coming. It was whether we were going to be able to stop it or not."
The 5-foot-11 Waters got a screen from big man Naz Reid, drove into the lane and somehow got off the winner.
"I was in the bottom of the dog pile, and just the feeling, it feels amazing," Waters said. "I'm going to continue to do everything I can to help this team win and just keep pushing for my guys."
Wade could only celebrate from afar. The head coach was banished indefinitely after details emerged about him talking to a recruiting middleman about a "strong ass offer" he made to a high schooler. If true, Wade clearly violated NCAA rules.
Maryland fans had some fun with the allegations.
One fan unhappy with the refs yelled "How much did Will Wade pay you?" Others chanted "Where's your coach?" during timeouts.
Waters finished with 12 points and five assists. Reid added 13 points, and Darius Days chipped in 10.
Smith led Maryland (23-11) with 15 points. Bruno Fernando added 10 points and 15 rebounds.
MICHIGAN STATE 70, MINNESOTA 50
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Michigan State is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015 after rolling past Minnesota.
The win in the battle of Big Ten teams sends the second-seeded Spartans (30-6) to an East Region semifinal against LSU in Washington, D.C.
The Spartans made 9 of their first 10 shots on their way to building a 20-point lead in the first 14 minutes. Minnesota managed to pull within single digits briefly in the second half before Big Ten player of the year Cassius Winston took matters into his hands.
Xavier Tillman had 14 points, Winston added 13 with 9 assists, and the Spartans shot 57.1 percent.
Amir Coffey had 27 points to lead the 10th-seeded Gophers.
Purdue tops Villanova
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Carsen Edwards had a career night, scoring 42 points as Purdue knocked reigning national champion Villanova out of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in an 87-61 rout.
Matt Haarms added 18 points and nine rebounds for the third-seeded Boilermakers (25-9), who advanced to their third consecutive Sweet 16.
Eric Paschall had 19 for Villanova (26-10), which saw its quest for a third national title in the last four seasons end during the tournament's first weekend. Fellow senior Phil Booth scored 15 points, putting him over 1,500 for his career.
Edwards has battled a sore back and had been in a recent shooting slump, making just 7 of 23 shots from the field in Purdue's first-round victory over Old Dominion. He found the bottom of the net early and often against Villanova, making 12 of his 21 shots, including nine of 16 from behind the arc.
Purdue shot 54 percent while holding Villanova to just 20 baskets on 58 shots (34 percent).
Sports on 03/24/2019
Print Headline: 'Great play' works again for LSU