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#pounditMonday, April 15, 2024

Jim Boeheim shuts door on Michigan State with perfect strategy

Jim Boeheim

Jim Boeheim was not about to let his Syracuse Orange end up on “One Shining Moment” for allowing the latest March Madness buzzer-beater.

Michigan State went completely cold at the end of Sunday’s NCAA Tournament second-round game against the Orange. They missed 14 straight shots to finish the game and blew a lead they had held nearly the entire contest.

But what was so brilliant about Boeheim is that he instructed his team to foul on Michigan State’s final few possessions, which prevented the Spartans from having an attempt to tie the game with a three-pointer. Instead, the Spartans ended up at the free throw line.

Though Matt McQuaid and Cassius Winston made both of their free throws for the Spartans, the closest they could come to Syracuse was within one. Tyus Battle making two free throws helped the Orange push the lead back to three. But fouling Michigan State and putting them at the line ensured they would not have a shot to tie the game with a wild three like in the Michigan-Houston game.

Michigan State shot themselves out of the game. Boeheim’s strategy closed the door, and now the Orange are on to the Sweet 16.

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