Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 18, 2018 at 5:25 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Comments DETROIT — Syracuse will keep on dancing.Even without its starting point guard over the final 6:39, Syracuse went on a big run to close out the game and beat No. 3 seed Michigan State on Sunday afternoon at Little Caesars Arena.Less than 48 hours after playing lockdown defense against high-powered No. 6 seed Texas Christian, Syracuse (23-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) beat No. 3 seed Michigan State (30-5, 16-2 Big 10), 55-53. A ferocious defensive effort by SU sent the Orange to the Sweet 16 in Omaha, Nebraska, next week.The Spartans entered the season ranked No. 2 in the AP Top 25, has never been ranked lower than No. 9 and has been ranked outside the top-five for just two all weeks all season. MSU ended the year ranked No. 5 and, by some accounts, should have received an even higher seed than No. 3.But Syracuse’s strong defense prevailed. Tyus Battle led the Orange with 17 points and Oshae Brissett added 15 in the win.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHere are three quick takeaways from the game.Key stretchSyracuse went off on a 7-0 run over a 1:20 period late in the game, even with starting junior point guard Frank Howard out because he picked up his fifth personal foul on a questionable 50-50 ball near midcourt. MSU didn’t make a single field goal over the final 5:40 of game time.Brissett worked chaos way inside a crowd of white jerseys and converted a layup. Marek Dolezaj made two free throws. Former-walk on Braedon Bayer held his own at the top of the 2-3 zone and defense to keep SU in the contest and keep dancing on.Meat and potatoesAt points, Michigan State’s 21 second-chance points sucked the life out of Syracuse, elongated possessions and gave the mostly MSU-backed arena something to cheer about. The deep, well-balanced MSU offense had trouble all game against SU’s 2-3 zone. But collecting offensive boards — sometimes three on a single time down the floor — provided ample opportunities to maintain a lead until the closing minutes.The Spartans front line is no taller than that of Syracuse, but they are muscular and physical inside. They crashed the glass hard. But Syracuse’s defense mounted nearly every Spartan first-chance and maintained the gridlock defense that powered it past high-powered offenses in Arizona State, Texas Christian and now Michigan State.Twenty-six offensive rebounds weren’t enough for the Spartans because SU’s defense didn’t allow space and forced MSU to shoot 17-for-66 from the field.Brissett vs. BridgesArguably the two most talented players on the court, MSU sophomore Miles Bridges and SU freshman Oshae Brissett, matched up in several one-on-one situations. Both clearly indicated they were the alpha male of their respective team. Brissett took command of the SU offense, knocking down contested shots and maneuvering inside.With just over a minute left, Brissett grabbed a defensive rebound to set up a Battle step-back jumper that pushed SU’s lead to three. Brissett also had nine rebounds and played the whole game.
They defeated Moyle Rovers 1-9 to 0-8 in the final.The match was played at Ned Hall Park.