Turnovers, Missed 3s Doom Spartans - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Turnovers, Missed 3s Doom Spartans

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The University of Connecticut ruined President Barack Obama's bracket and thousands of other brackets across mid-Michigan.

That's after the Huskies ended the Michigan State Spartans run in the NCAA tournament one game short of the Final Four.

Final score: UConn 60, MSU 54.

The loss ends the streak Tom Izzo had. Until today, all of his players who stayed all four years made it to the Final Four. Now Keith Appling and Adreian Payne will graduate with diplomas, but without ever having made it to the last weekend of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Turnovers and sloppy play plagued the Spartans, who gave the ball up at least 16 times, including their very first possession and on one routine, unguarded inbound pass.

"The only part that's disappointing is that we did not play very well" said MSU coach Tom Izzo after the game. He said the Spartans shot well, but that the turnovers doomed them. He said it was "not close to one of our better games" and that "today, we deserved what we got."

The game was close and MSU was in it until Keith Appling* fouled UConn's Shabazz Napier from behind the 3 point line with 30 seconds left. Napier hit all three free throws to put the game out of reach. The Spartans hit a last-second 3 point shot to bring it within 6. But at that point, it was too little, too late.

It's a huge upset not just because the 7th seeded Huskies beat the 4th seeded Spartans. It's because despite their #4 seed, a legion of experts, including announcers at CBS and ESPN (not to mention President Obama), all picked MSU to win.

The Spartans, who were plagued by injuries all season, got healthy at the end of the year and destroyed opponents in the Big Ten tournament. They also beat Delaware (13th seed), Harvard (12th seed), and the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers in the NCAA tournament before falling to the Huskies.

* Corrects an earlier version which blamed Branden Dawson for the foul.

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