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Michigan State, Duke Join Kentucky, Wisconsin In The Men's Final Four

We've got a Final Four.

Michigan State and Duke will join Kentucky and Wisconsin in Indianapolis next Saturday night.

In Syracuse, N.Y., Michigan State and Louisville traded leads all game. As the clock wound down, the Spartans led by one point, 65-64. But they missed their chance to extend the lead when freshman Marvin Clark Jr. missed two free throws with 22 seconds to go.

But just seconds later, they fouled Louisville forward Mangok Mathiang, who made one free throw to tie the game, but couldn't hit the second.

Overtime wasn't as close. The Spartans won 76-70, while legendary point guard Magic Johnson (who led the Spartans to the title in 1979) smiled on from the stands. This is the Spartans' sixth trip to the Final Four since 2000.

In Houston, 1-seed Duke met 2-seed Gonzaga.

Duke's star freshman Jahlil Okafor, the presumed #1 pick in this summer's NBA draft, was looking to rebound from a tough showing against Utah, where he scored just six points. Tonight, he only scored nine, but his teammates again picked up the slack. Duke held an arm's-length lead for most of the game and won 66-52.

Once the quintessential Cinderella team, but now a regular tournament heavyweight, Gonzaga has actually never been to a Final Four. Duke, on the other hand, is headed to their 16th.

Kentucky and Wisconsin sealed their spots last night — Kentucky in a total thriller over Notre Dame, who held a small lead for most of the game before losing control right at the end.

The first game — Michigan State vs. Duke — tips off Saturday night at 6:09 PM Eastern Time.

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Becky Sullivan has reported and produced for NPR since 2011 with a focus on hard news and breaking stories. She has been on the ground to cover natural disasters, disease outbreaks, elections and protests, delivering stories to both broadcast and digital platforms.