Nick Ward scored 19 points to help Michigan State atone for last season's early NCAA Tournament disappointment with an opening-round 78-58 victory over Miami on Friday night.
The ninth-seeded Spartans (20-14) trailed by as many 12 points in the first half before blitzing past the stunned Hurricanes (21-12) the rest of the way, using a 20-2 first half run to take control for good.
Ward made his first six shots and finished 8 of 9 from the field, while Miles Bridges was 8 of 12 and added 18 points in the win. Joshua Langford had 13 points for Michigan State.
Ja'Quan Newton scored 16 points to lead Miami, which had won at least one tournament game in each of its previous three trips. Davon Reed added 12 points and Bruce Brown 11, and the Hurricanes shot just 40.4 percent (21 of 52).