Patriot League

Bridges leads Michigan State past Thomas, Bucknell 82-78

Miles Bridges outlasted Zach Thomas.

Michigan State's sophomore star also soared over everyone on a pivotal play, scoring two of his 29 points on a tip-in dunk to help the third-seeded Spartans beat Bucknell 82-78 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

"He was a tough matchup for us," Thomas acknowledged.

Thomas was, too, for the Big Ten regular season champions. He fouled out on a technical with 6:06 left and finished with 27 points. The 6-foot-7 senior forward put on a show in the first half, scoring 20 points and making all three of his shots beyond the 3-point arc to keep the Bison close.

"He's a great player, but it was...