“They disrupted us a little bit and we didn’t have enough guys who could play well,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
Florida (26-10) made it a coaching-tree final in the West behind the NBA-player-in-the-making Beal.
A player Donovan has been pushing to be more assertive, Beal hit 8 of 10 shots and scored on some dazzling drives to the basket. He also had six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots to send the Gators to the regional final for the second straight year.
“Whenever you’re missing shots from the outside, you should keep attacking the basket,” Beal said.
Marquette (27-8) struggled in the first half with Big East player of the year Jae Crowder in foul trouble and never really recovered.
Crowder finished with 15 points on 5-for-15 shooting while another Marquette senior, Darius Johnson-Odom, also went 5 for 15 in a struggle to reach 14 points. Buzz Williams’ team shot 31 percent and was held 18 points under its season average.
“You have to make shots, particularly on this stage in a tournament setting,” Williams said. “If you don’t make shots, the easy thing is to say we didn’t make shots we typically make. That’s not what happened. They were really good, they were outstanding and credit goes to them and their game plan with what we were trying to do offensively.