The Michigan State Spartans (27-8) are facing the Duke Blue Devils (29-5) on Friday in the Sweet 16 and head coach Tom Izzo talked with Tiki, Brandon and Dana on Tuesday about the upcoming matchup.
After beating both Valparaiso and Memphis, the Spartans hope to contain a very good Duke team led by Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry. When asked on The Morning Show how one prepares for a team like Duke, Izzo said, “They don’t beat themselves very often, so you have to beat them … it should be about you playing you’re best, not hoping the other team doesn’t play well. If we are hoping that, that doesn’t happen that often with his teams.”
Michigan State is hoping to extend its tournament run for at least another round in what has turned out to be a crazy March. LaSalle, Florida Gulf Coast and Wichita State are looking to continue their magical runs after knocking off some of the top seeds. The Spartans, playing in the Midwest Region, have one of the tougher schedules and even Coach Izzo’s son thought so.
“I have a 12-year-old son and the kid picked Louisville to win our bracket, “Izzo said. “I looked at our bracket, I didn’t spend much time on our bracket-I got sick when I looked the number of good teams in it.”
Even though Izzo’s son doesn’t think that the Spartans will take the crown, it’s hard to deny that Michigan State has enough talent to get to Atlanta.
“We’ve been consistent all year. We haven’t been great all year but we’ve never had one of those major drop off where you lose by 20 and we were never upset by a team … so that’s been all good.”
While the Spartans have a talented core, Tom Izzo, who has one of the most decorated resumes in the game, has been the catalyst for their success. With over 400 wins, a 2009 National Championship, seven Big Ten Championships and six Final Four appearances, the 2012 Big Ten Coach of the Year is a highly sought after man. Many schools, most notably UCLA, have vacancies after firing their head coaches. Each year Tom Izzo’s name gets thrown into the mix but he seems content in East Lansing.
“I’m probably where I want to be and where I’m going to be. I guess you never say never because you never know but I’m happy with what I’m doing and I’m pursuing something I haven’t been able to get my hands on and that’s another National Championship.”