The first half of Michigan State-Syracuse is over. That's a good thing.
It was an incredibly ugly first 20 minutes. Michigan State shot 28.6 percent and had nine turnovers. Syracuse shot 40 percent and had eight. Syracuse's two centers, Pascal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe, each have three fouls.
The half ended in fittingly bizarre fashion. After MSU's Matt McQuaid's shot was blocked by Cuse's Matthew Moyer, McQuaid corralled the loose ball in mid-air and banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The three-pointer was just the fifth make for Sparty in 19 attempts from beyond the arc. It put them ahead 25-22 at intermission.
ESPN has put out a prediction for the second half. The Worldwide Leader is still very confident that MSU will pull it out.
ESPN’s 2nd half prediction, via the Basketball Power Index
Eighty-percent seems pretty high, considering how poorly the Spartans have played. The first few minutes of the second half will be huge for both teams.
If Michigan State does win, they will have to hope for a better performance against Duke's 2-3 zone on Friday than they have gotten against Syracuse's zone today. The Blue Devils are a much better offensive team than the Orange.
You can catch the final 20 minutes of Michigan State-Syracuse on CBS.