Michigan State Basketball could not avoid a mammoth upset, losing to 15-seed Middle Tennessee.
Zero seconds. That’s how long Michigan State Basketball held a lead in its first round matchup against No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee. Besides the fact that the Blue Raiders seemingly couldn’t miss, Michigan State was giving them all they wanted in the post and leaving the perimeter open.
Everyone in Middle Tennessee’s starting lineup finished in double figures, led by Reggie Upshaw who had 21 points and Giddy Potts who scored 19. It was tough to watch as the Blue Raiders were filling it up all night long — they made 11-of-19 threes and 56 percent of their field goals.
Denzel Valentine was the definition of “off”, making just 5-of-13 baskets for 13 points, 12 assists and six costly turnovers. Matt Costello led the team with 22 points and nine rebounds while Bryn Forbes scored 14 points and was big in the second half despite a failed comeback.
It was just an ugly game all around for Michigan State as it finished with 14 turnovers and 22 personal fouls.
Middle Tennessee, on the other hand, becomes the eighth No. 15 seed to upset a two-seed in NCAA Tournament history. Don’t worry, Spartan fans, Duke lost to No. 15 Lehigh three years ago and then went on to win a national title two years later.
Tom Izzo and the Spartans will be back and better than ever next year. Losing Denzel, Forbes and Costello will hurt, but with the returning talent and incoming highly-touted prospects, watch out for the Spartans in 2016-17.
Izzo’s not going anywhere.