Magic Calls Alma Mater’s Performance ‘Beautiful’

Travis Trice, London Perrantes
The Associated Press

The Michigan State Spartans upset the #2-seeded Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday. Then the program’s greatest product called the performance “beautiful.”

“And I think Coach was right: the defense, helping each other, talking — talking,” Magic Johnson told the players in the locker room. “It was beautiful. It was beautiful to watch. And even when they came back and made their run, you stuck to the game plan, you executed and you stuck together.”

Johnson led the Spartans to their first NCAA championship in 1979. He won the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award by helping Michigan State defeat Larry Bird’s Indiana State, a rivalry that continued during their Hall of Fame careers in the NBA.

The former Los Angeles Lakers point guard’s congratulations followed encouragement from current Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. He told Travis Trice: “Don’t let this be your last game.” The diminutive player heeded the former Spartan’s words. Trice scored 23 points in the 60-54 upset.

Tom Izzo’s team faces Oklahoma on Friday night in their effort to advance to the Elite Eight.