Keith Appling foul on Shabazz Napier costs Michigan State (GIF)
Michigan State guard Keith Appling can’t be happy with the way his collegiate career ended. The senior committed a costly foul in the Elite 8 on Sunday that helped send UConn to the Final Four.
With 30 seconds remaining in the game and the Huskies leading 53-51, Appling hit Napier on the arm while the UConn star was shooting a 3-pointer. Napier went on to hit all three of his free throws and give his team a five-point lead, ultimately icing the game.
Given the way UConn has shot free throws throughout the NCAA Tournament, the last thing the Spartans wanted to do down the stretch was put them at the line. The Huskies hit an astonishing 21 of 22 free throws (95.5%) against Michigan State. They hit 41 of 44 free throws total at Madison Square Garden in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. They have shot 88% as a team in the tournament.
As Derrick Rose and his 2008 Memphis Tigers could tell you, poor free throw shooting can sink a team in March. Phenomenal work from the line has catapulted UConn into the Final Four.
GIF via Diehard Sport