EAST LANSING – After losing to Purdue on a last-second shot, the Michigan State Spartans rose up and somehow found a way to overcome the likes of Illinois, Ohio State, and Michigan.
Those three victories helped punch MSU's ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
But a loss in the First Four to UCLA cemented this team's legacy, finding a way to avoid an embarrassing miss for the first time since 1997.
The Spartans started strong, then struggled for most of the second half in large part due to self-inflicted errors.
In a way, it culminated Michigan State's entire season.
Today, Spartan Nation publisher Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr., and deputy editor McLain Moberg evaluate MSU's early exit.
"That's the way the season went," Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. "And you just can't make the same mistakes over and over and over again."
After leading by as many as 14-points, the Spartans collapsed down the stretch. MSU turned it over, didn't box out on a critical free-throw, and experienced miscues defensively.
"It definitely was tough, and the biggest thing is you have to take these lessons through persevering and use them for next year," fifth-year senior Joshua Langford said. "I told the guys, 'Don't let this time be in vain.'"
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