2000 : Matteen Cleaves Leads MSU to Second National Basketball Title

April 3, 2023 all-day

Picture of Mateen Cleaves of The Spartans

Michigan State senior Mateen Cleaves limped his way to the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Cleaves sprained his ankle with 16:18 to play in the 2nd half, and this was after Florida had trimmed Michigan State’s double digit halftime lead to 50-44. Cleaves returned about four minutes later, and immediately helped lead the Spartans on a 16-6 run to put the game out of reach. The lone top-seed remaining would bring order to a tournament filled with upsets as they salted away the victory for the school’s second National Championship (1979). Michigan State coach Tom Izzo earned his first title, from his second straight final four appearance. Morris Peterson led the Spartans with 21 points.

Mateen Cleaves gets a hug from his mom.

Matteen Cleaves page courtesy of MSU Men’s Basketball.

Green glory : champions of the hardwood, 1998-2001 / by Jack Ebling and John Lewandowski. [Southfield, Mich.?] : Gametime Sports and Entertainment, LLC, c2001.

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