Green’s triple-double not enough to save Spartans

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Draymond Green logged the seventh official triple-double in NCAA tournament history Thursday night. Too bad he didn’t get to enjoy it.

Michigan State lost 78-76 Thursday night to UCLA, falling just short of completing a massive 23-point comeback and failing to advance to the second round for the first time since 2006. That’s what you call a bummer. And no time to celebrate a triple-double.

Not that anyone noticed. There was a comeback going on.

“I guess Day-Day (Draymond) had a triple-double, I didn’t even realize,” coach Tom Izzo said afterward.

Green’s final numbers – 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists – gave him his second triple-double of the season and prompted some praise from Izzo (once he realized the feat).

“He hit a couple of 3s and he made a couple of great assists and he got a couple of great rebounds,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. “So his effort was great, and after a little bit sluggish start, I thought even the first half got five or six rebounds, but he was in there by himself for a while, so I’m proud of him.”

Green joins Gary Grant (Michigan, 1987), Shaquille O’Neal (LSU, 1992), David Cain (St. John’s, 1993), Andre Miller (Utah, 1998), Dwyane Wade (Marquette, 2003) and Cole Aldrich (Kansas, 2009).

As for UCLA, it survived and advanced (to borrow a cliché). It wasn’t an ideal finish, but it’s one that’s all too familiar to coach Ben Howland.

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“This is not the first time that we’ve had a lead evaporate,” Howland said. “We’re now 21-0, though, whenever we get a 10-point lead or more, and that’s been good. You know, we’ve played a lot of tight games, and somehow we’ve found a way to win more than we’ve lost, and that’s been big for us.”

It’ll face 2 seed Florida on Saturday.

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