The Spartans were far and away the favorite to win this game, but struggled to score the ball late in the second half. In fact, the Spartans did not score a field goal in the final 5:43 of the game, missing their final 14 shots. Michigan State’s last basket came on a Cassius Winston jump shot with 5:43 remaining in the game.
In all, the Spartans only shot 26 percent from the floor for the entire game, marking the team’s worst shooting performance since shooting 24 percent against Illinois on Jan. 31, 2012.
Twitter had jokes about Michigan State’s collapse:
Michigan State didn't score a Field Goal in the final 5:43 and lost to Syracuse by 1 point. This is one of the longest FG droughts in Spartan postseason games since the 2015 Cotton Bowl.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) March 18, 2018
Throughout the first half and much of the second half, the two teams were locked in a close, low-scoring battle with neither team being able to build upon their small leads. But at one point early in the second half, Michigan State built its lead to six with a 38-32 lead. However, the Orange fought their way back into it, and with a 7-0 run later in the half, it took a 50-48 lead with roughly two minutes remaining in the game.
Then with under 1 minute to play, Syracuse’s Tyus Battle knocked down a jumper to make it a 52-49 lead for the Orange. Michigan State stayed in the game with some strong defense, but the Spartans struggled to score the ball, missing shot after shot. While the Spartans did make five free throws in the final five minutes of the game, it wouldn’t be enough.
With the loss, the Spartans have not made it to the Sweet 16 since 2015.