COLUMN: Michigan State suffers tragic overtime loss to UCLA in ‘first four’ play in game


Zak Everett, Reporter

Just like many Michigan State basketball games this year, it was a tale of two halves for Michigan State, a very good first half but a not so good second half. Michigan State has been unable to put together a consistent game all season, but going into halftime this game felt different.

Michigan State was up by 11, so of course the team feels good, but they weren’t just making shots, they were out rebounding them and moving the ball better. Even at the beginning of the second half, UCLA cut the lead to one possession on several occasions but just couldn’t take the lead. Everytime UCLA would go on a run, Michigan State would shoot right back with a run of their own.

Things changed when down by 77-74, UCLA got an and-1 layup to tie the game at 77 with 20 seconds left. Michigan State got the last shot of the game, but an Aaron Henry air ball forced overtime.

Michigan State won the tip to start overtime, and that’s about all of Michigan State’s highlights in overtime. Michigan State looked gassed, they were air balling shots, turning the ball over and were moving slowly on the defensive end. Back-to-back missed shots close to the rim spelled the end for the Spartans as it is the first time in 24 years Michigan State has not made it to at least the “round of 64”.

With the loss on Thursday Michigan State season has ended in heartbreaking fashion. While it may not have been the end result people wanted, it was a great month in a half run to even make the tournament, and extend Tom Izzo’s streak of consecutive tournament appearances. Now Michigan State players, fans, and especially Tom Izzo has seven months to stew over this loss and get ready for next season.