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NCAA Tournament: Michigan St., N. Carolina ousted

NCAA Tournament: Michigan St., N. Carolina ousted

In a sullen postgame locker room, Michigan State players were left with 29 what-ifs.

No. 11 seed Syracuse defeated No. 3 seed Michigan State 55-53 to advance to the Sweet 16 and are being considered one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 NCAA tournament. In the meantime, this is a loss the Spartans are going to want back.

"We got beat because we couldn't make a shot", Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. I don't care who is in front of us. "It was really disappointing".

Sunday was a bad day for most brackets as favorites Michigan State, North Carolina, Xavier and Cincinnati all fell.

Playing before a partisan crowd in Detroit, Michigan State shot just 25.8 percent from the field and were 9 of 38 in the second half. The Spartans, flummoxed by Syracuse's 2-3 zone, didn't make a basket in the last 5:41.

How did a team that probably shouldn't even be in the NCAA tournament knock off a national title contender, Michigan State?

All of that led to miss after miss as Syracuse erased a small second-half deficit. They finished 6 of 22 from 3-point range two nights after lighting up Virginia. T.J. Starks scored 21 points to lead the offense, which shot 52 percent and made 10 of 24 3-pointers - several coming with cool composure any time UNC tried to muster a push.

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"All we needed is one or two more and it would be a whole different story right now".

The Orange countered and pulled within one thanks to four straight free throws by Oshae Brissett and two from Battle. Why they didn't fall was anybody's guess. "I've seen too many guys when the guy makes a 3 and it goes into overtime".

Perhaps no player epitomized the perplexing shooting night as much as Langford.

The Aggies advanced to the regional semifinals in Los Angeles to face third-seeded MI, which beat Houston on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer Saturday.

In the last 34 seconds of the contest, MSU forward Miles Bridges missed two potential game-tying three-point attempts, and the teams combined for three turnovers.

"Nothing feels better than this", Nevada coach Eric Musselman said. That didn't give the Spartans enough time to get off a good look at the other end.

Every time it appeared the Spartans would be prepared to overtake the Orange in the second half, Syracuse would bring a counterpunch and get to the free-throw line.

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