TAMPA -- The end proved crushing, yet accurately reflected a cruelly frustrating Michigan State season. Nothing came easy and inevitably fell short.
The Spartans almost pulled off a last-second miracle Thursday night that would have rendered the football team's "Little Giants" fake field goal in overtime as emotionally passé. Instead, the Spartans added one last, heart-wrenching chapter to a season that will be titled "What if ...?"
What if Kalin Lucas didn't wait until less than 8 minutes remained before scoring his first points?
What if Durrell Summers had played this aggressively in the Big Ten season?
What if a college basketball game lasted 41 minutes instead of 40?
An amazing comeback stalled two points shy of becoming one of the NCAA tournament's more storied tales of survival. The Spartans couldn't get a last-second, desperation heave from Lucas after the referees called him for traveling.