Michigan State does the Big Ten proud

  • 03/29/2009 4:38 pm in

In a game that no one gave them a chance to win, Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans proved on Sunday afternoon why they’ve been the premier program in the Big Ten since the turn of the decade.

The Spartans throttled the overall No. 1 seed Louisville, 64-52, in a contest that was essentially a home game for the Cardinals. (Louisville is just 100 miles south of Indianapolis and its fans packed Lucas Oil Stadium.) The Final Four is the fifth for Michigan State in the last 11 seasons.

Michigan State ended Louisville’s 13-game winning streak and did it by rendering the Cardinals’ full court pressure ineffective. Izzo’s club never let Louisville turn up the pressure and committed just 12 turnovers.

As an Indiana fan, it’s not often that I express admiration for what’s happening at another program in the league, but credit should be given where credit is due. In a year where the national media annoited the Big East the greatest conference of all-time, Michigan State stood up and slayed its regular season and tournament champion. That, my friends, is worth our congratulations.

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  • Kelin Blab

    All the more reason to take the KY job…..PALEEZ. IZZO stay put, let KY rot in basketball hell…..You are actually one Big Ten Coach I like as much as Crean.

  • Kelin Blab

    All the more reason to take the KY job…..PALEEZ. IZZO stay put, let KY rot in basketball hell…..You are actually one Big Ten Coach I like as much as Crean.

  • because it's Indiana

    Let's hope that Crean follows in the footsteps of his former head coach.

    As an Indiana alum living in East Lansing, I will be the first to say that Izzo is not going to leave. His is very much entrenched in the area and Kentucky would at best be a lateral move. If he was chasing money he would be coaching for the Chicago Bulls by now.

    I'll be in Detroit cheering on the Spartans for the Final Four. It won't be the same as it was in 2002, but they deserve our respect as the Big Ten representative. Two years from now though, they better look out.

  • because it's Indiana

    Let's hope that Crean follows in the footsteps of his former head coach.

    As an Indiana alum living in East Lansing, I will be the first to say that Izzo is not going to leave. His is very much entrenched in the area and Kentucky would at best be a lateral move. If he was chasing money he would be coaching for the Chicago Bulls by now.

    I'll be in Detroit cheering on the Spartans for the Final Four. It won't be the same as it was in 2002, but they deserve our respect as the Big Ten representative. Two years from now though, they better look out.

  • stephen

    izzo- kentucky

    crean- msu

    please don't let this happen. please.

  • stephen

    izzo- kentucky

    crean- msu

    please don't let this happen. please.

  • Kelin Blab

    Stephen— dude don't put that out there like that…….that would CRUSH me I would put Crean right below my ex wife and Kelvin Sampson…….

  • Kelin Blab

    Stephen— dude don't put that out there like that…….that would CRUSH me I would put Crean right below my ex wife and Kelvin Sampson…….

  • HoosierOdi

    I'd like to point out that IU only lost to MSU by 5 while Louisville lost by 12. Shocking

  • HoosierOdi

    I'd like to point out that IU only lost to MSU by 5 while Louisville lost by 12. Shocking

  • Crean's buyout through April 2011 is $3 million. He's not going anywhere. And furthermore, I truly believe there's nowhere he'd rather be than Bloomington.

  • Crean's buyout through April 2011 is $3 million. He's not going anywhere. And furthermore, I truly believe there's nowhere he'd rather be than Bloomington.

  • elling2008

    As an IU fan, I actually DON'T MIND seeing Izzo succeed. He was one of the few Big Ten coaches who admitted that the good Knight has done “far outweigh the bad.”

  • elling2008

    As an IU fan, I actually DON'T MIND seeing Izzo succeed. He was one of the few Big Ten coaches who admitted that the good Knight has done “far outweigh the bad.”

  • CutterInChicago

    Happy for MSU and the Big Ten. Izzo is a very solid coach and I think he seems like a good guy. I highly doubt he would leave MSU for UK (and let's face it, UK basketball might be the most dysfunctional sports program in college – unrealistic expectations, an insane, cannot be reasoned with fanbase – more than Notre Dame football). Even if Izzo left, there is 0 chance Crean would leave Indiana for MSU, that's a step down in terms of basketball prestige(and that's without the contract buyout that Crean has).

    Hopefully UK will continue to hire people who leave their fans unsatisfied and angry, year after year….

  • CutterInChicago

    Happy for MSU and the Big Ten. Izzo is a very solid coach and I think he seems like a good guy. I highly doubt he would leave MSU for UK (and let's face it, UK basketball might be the most dysfunctional sports program in college – unrealistic expectations, an insane, cannot be reasoned with fanbase – more than Notre Dame football). Even if Izzo left, there is 0 chance Crean would leave Indiana for MSU, that's a step down in terms of basketball prestige(and that's without the contract buyout that Crean has).

    Hopefully UK will continue to hire people who leave their fans unsatisfied and angry, year after year….

  • IUTX

    When Indiana hired Crean, Pat Knight was quoted saying something on line of a friend of Izzo's is a friend of of the Knights.

  • IUTX

    When Indiana hired Crean, Pat Knight was quoted saying something on line of a friend of Izzo's is a friend of of the Knights.

  • q95

    honestly, i could see this one coming for the cards. i realize this team was the regular season champs, big east tournament champs and the overall number one seed. however, this team did not have to play at uconn, at pitt or at marquette during the regular season. in the big east tournament, they again avoided pitt and uconn and faced a dead tired syracuse team in the final. don't get me wrong, i think l'ville is a good team, but was fairly sure it was a matter of time before the team that played some pretty poor basketball at times during the year re-emerged…i.e., 30 plus point loss to n. dame late in the season.

  • GFDave

    I'm pleased that the Big Ten is having a good showing in the tournament. I've been unhappy with the negative comments directed towards the league by any number of national basketball media commentators (this means you John Feinstein.)

    I think the Big East has had a glorious year, and is clearly the best conference in the country. But after them, I don't see any group that's got a edge on the B10. The SEC and Pac Ten were way down this year. The Big 12 has no Final 4 entrants and two B10 teams defeated higher seeded ACC teams in the opening round of the NCAAs. So I think the B10 deserves much more respect than its received. Sadly, this seems to be an annual refrain.

    Too many commentators confuse style of play with quality. The B10 plays a hard nosed game that places a premium on every possession. But just because our games aren't track meets doesn't mean they're bad. Additionally, I think we've got the best rosters of coaches in the country, bar none. So how about some RESPECT.

  • GFDave

    I'm pleased that the Big Ten is having a good showing in the tournament. I've been unhappy with the negative comments directed towards the league by any number of national basketball media commentators (this means you John Feinstein.)

    I think the Big East has had a glorious year, and is clearly the best conference in the country. But after them, I don't see any group that's got a edge on the B10. The SEC and Pac Ten were way down this year. The Big 12 has no Final 4 entrants and two B10 teams defeated higher seeded ACC teams in the opening round of the NCAAs. So I think the B10 deserves much more respect than its received. Sadly, this seems to be an annual refrain.

    Too many commentators confuse style of play with quality. The B10 plays a hard nosed game that places a premium on every possession. But just because our games aren't track meets doesn't mean they're bad. Additionally, I think we've got the best rosters of coaches in the country, bar none. So how about some RESPECT.

  • Kelin, Izzo is not leaving. You're an idiot

  • Another idiot, this is why people ride out blogs

  • Not shocking, we tried hard all year. UL gave up. I was there

  • Not shocking, we tried hard all year. UL gave up. I was there

  • We arent going to get any credit as a league. We have 1 team in the final 8. Our leagues best coach made it to the final 4. How does the conference get credit? Everyone else sucked in the tourney except for Purdue

  • We arent going to get any credit as a league. We have 1 team in the final 8. Our leagues best coach made it to the final 4. How does the conference get credit? Everyone else sucked in the tourney except for Purdue

  • aerialM

    actually, i don't agree that “everyone else sucked” save for purdue – the b10 gets credit by getting in the # of teams we got in with our champ getting to the final 4. and really, purdue and msu did well but consider that wisconsin & michigan both beat upper-mid tier acc teams. sure minn & illinois & oh st got beat in the 1st round, but they were supposed to be a year away anyway, so in a sense each one of the teams besides purdue and msu overachieved this year. so to say we sucked as a conference isn't correct. are we as deep & good as the big east? no. the acc? no. but are we above the sec? yes. the pac-10? the big 12? the # of seeds say yes…

  • aerialM

    actually, i don't agree that “everyone else sucked” save for purdue – the b10 gets credit by getting in the # of teams we got in with our champ getting to the final 4. and really, purdue and msu did well but consider that wisconsin & michigan both beat upper-mid tier acc teams. sure minn & illinois & oh st got beat in the 1st round, but they were supposed to be a year away anyway, so in a sense each one of the teams besides purdue and msu overachieved this year. so to say we sucked as a conference isn't correct. are we as deep & good as the big east? no. the acc? no. but are we above the sec? yes. the pac-10? the big 12? the # of seeds say yes…

  • TomCoverdale's Eyebrows

    I was happy to see Izzo and co win, despite having my bracket take another beating. Now that Billy Packer has quit, is it time to start annointing Digger Phelps as college basketball's most obnoxious/deafening talking head? I say yes.

  • TomCoverdale's Eyebrows

    I was happy to see Izzo and co win, despite having my bracket take another beating. Now that Billy Packer has quit, is it time to start annointing Digger Phelps as college basketball's most obnoxious/deafening talking head? I say yes.

  • aerialM

    actually, i don't agree that “everyone else sucked” save for purdue – the b10 gets credit by getting in the # of teams we got in with our champ getting to the final 4. and really, purdue and msu did well but consider that wisconsin & michigan both beat upper-mid tier acc teams. sure minn & illinois & oh st got beat in the 1st round, but they were supposed to be a year away anyway, so in a sense each one of the teams besides purdue and msu overachieved this year. so to say we sucked as a conference isn't correct. are we as deep & good as the big east? no. the acc? no. but are we above the sec? yes. the pac-10? the big 12? the # of seeds say yes…

  • TomCoverdale's Eyebrows

    I was happy to see Izzo and co win, despite having my bracket take another beating. Now that Billy Packer has quit, is it time to start annointing Digger Phelps as college basketball's most obnoxious/deafening talking head? I say yes.