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Syracuse Absolutely Shuts Down Michigan State to Advance to the Sweet 16

Folks, it’s happening. I tweeted that out right as Syracuse was announced as one of the at-large teams in the NCAA Tournament. It’s the only explanation for what’s going on. I mean, Michigan State is one of the 10 best 3-point shooting teams in the country and Cuse held them to 21 percent from three in a 55-53 win.

This game was exactly what Syracuse wants to do. They want low scoring games. They want to make it ugly. They don’t want to get up and down the court. That’s what they did and that’s why they won. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were some questionable things on Michigan State’s part, which we’ll get into, but this was a Syracuse win.

Let’s talk about Michigan State though. They were getting some open looks from and just flat out missing. Part of that falls on Tom Izzo and his decision making, which was beyond questionable this game. His refusal to run Miles Bridges at the four and let him go to the high post and surround him with Jackson/Winston/Langford/McQuaid was mind boggling. Instead of doing that, Michigan State kept throwing Ben Carter into the high post. He’s not going to kill you there and that allowed Syracuse to stay at the rim and let Michigan State continue to jack up shots. The other confusing part with Izzo; late in the game he never put his best offensive players in on deadballs. There were two different situations where Michigan State received possession of the ball on a stoppage and he left Jackson and Ward on the bench. How does that happen? Why does that happen? Hint: Michigan State didn’t score on those possessions. It ultimately led to a massive disappointment for Michigan State and its fans. Sparty was a national title favorite. They were supposed to be in San Antonio. This was a preseason top-3 team that is now out in the first weekend.

As for Syracuse, man what they are able to when they have almost no right being in the NCAA Tournament is crazy. A couple years ago it was going to a press leading to a ridiculous comeback against Virginia. Today, it was doing just enough to beat Michigan State. There’s a ton of credit for that. A ton of credit also has to go to Tyus Battle, Oshae Brissett and Frank Howard who just keep doing the scoring for this Syracuse team. All three were in double digits today. Just absolutely insane for Syracuse and Clem – who better start the Vegas party off with a cannonball into the pool.