The No. 13 Michigan State Spartans escaped with a 78-77 win over Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday ... with a little bit of help from the hometown clock operator.
With the Spartans up a point with 2.4 seconds left, the Eagles had a chance to inbound the ball and try and win the game. On the first attempt, the full-court effort was batted away.
Somehow, this took 0.8 seconds (it did not), leaving 1.6 on the clock.
Here's the first play where .8 seconds when off the clock on a deflection from the guy guarding the inbounds pic.twitter.com/h2J7Fts25S— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) November 21, 2016
But that is at least forgivable. Human reaction time and such. That should have been reviewed, but it’s not the end of the world.
This next miscue, however, was inexcusable.
One the next attempt, you can see the clock start immediately after the pass is attempted, meaning the buzzer sounds almost as soon as Antravious Simmons catches the ball. In reality, he should have had time to catch, turn, maybe even dribble, then shoot.
Instead, he had to force this up:
And here's the next play where the clock starts as soon as the ball is thrown pic.twitter.com/4A7k2gPJzG— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) November 21, 2016
Now, one could argue that since Simmons’ shot missed, this does not matter. However, had Simmons known had had north of a second, or even more than that, it’s reasonable to say he could have gotten off a better shot.
In truth, however, it was a dumb ending, but one that should quickly be forgotten. Michigan State heads to the Battle 4 Atlantis next, while FGCU is in a one-bid league, so it does not need a resume-building win like this one. The Eagles will collect their check for playing the buy game and move on.
We can still be annoyed by this for a little bit, though.