It’s certainly been a long time coming for the Michigan State Spartans.
For the first time since 1996, they won’t make the NCAA’s round of 64. They dropped an 86-80 decision in overtime to the UCLA Bruins tonight at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette in a NCAA Tournament play-in game, ending their season with a 16-4 mark after earning the No. 11 seed in the tournament.
The Bruins were able to rebound from a 14 point deficit to take the lead, which they briefly surrendered before coming back out on top. The Spartans would eventually force overtime, though missed shots and domination from UCLA sealed their fate.
UCLA will advance to play No. 6 BYU on Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
For head coach Tom Izzo, it was a disappointing end to the season.
Spartans fans will also remember this game for a brief spat Izzo had with Gabe Brown. The pair engaged in a heated argument at the end of the game’s 1st half. As they walked into the locker room, Izzo grabbed Brown’s arm and then jersey before having it swatted away.
According to Izzo, the disagreement stemmed from a missed switch:
Izzo and the Spartans will now pick up the pieces and attempt to come back stronger for next season.