His specialty is winning
The list of Iron Mountain native Tom Izzo’s accomplishments runs about 9,000 words on the Michigan State University website.
Not enough room for all of that here, so let’s cut to the chase. This weekend’s Final Four appearance will be the eighth for MSU under Izzo. The eighth in 24 years of coaching.
Some teams never reach the Final Four. Some teams rarely if ever qualify for the tournament.
Coach Izzo and his squads reach the pinnacle like clockwork — and also uphold a tradition of academic success.
MSU has gone through six Final Four defeats since winning the 2000 NCAA National Championship. Whether this is the year the Spartans break through for a second national crown under Izzo is anyone’s guess.
MSU’s most recent Final Four appearance was in 2015 when the seventh-seeded Spartans fell to eventual champion Duke.
No need to worry about Duke this year. The Spartans dispatched the top-ranked Blue Devils 68-67 on Sunday.
Texas Tech, a team that stood at 200-1 odds to win the national title back in November, now looms as the first order of business. The Spartans are only slight favorites as the Red Raiders boast arguably the nation’s best defense.
Coach Izzo is already one of the game’s all-time greats — enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. Another national championship would simply be icing on the cake.
But a sweet, sweet icing it would be.
Tip-off in Minneapolis is set for 7:49 p.m. Saturday.
Good luck, Spartans.