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IMpressed with Tommy Izzo

March 19, 2013 - Burt Angeli
If one of my NCAA brackets holds true, Michigan State’s Tommy Izzo will be cutting down the nets in Atlanta.

The “other” experts also figure Michigan State to make a strong run because of the Iron Mountain native’s past tournament success. New York Times noted that "few coaches prepare their teams to win in March as consistently as Izzo, through 16 consecutive N.C.A.A. tournament bids, 6 Final Fours and a national championship (in 2000). No other coach has been to as many Final Fours in the last 14 seasons. And since the 1998-99 season, Izzo’s teams are 71-29 in March."

John Feinstein of the Washington Post looks for Michigan State and Louisville to clash in a regional final.

“Betting against Tom Izzo in March is never a good idea,” Feinstein wrote.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports noted that “nobody played a harder schedule than the Spartans, so they have been toughened for this task.

“There are several offensive options, but it wouldn't be a shock to see rapidly improving Adreian Payne blow up and become a star in this tournament,” Forde wrote.

Izzo’s MSU coaching associates hold him in high regard.

"All you have to do is look across to our basketball arena and you see how championships are made," football coach Mark Dantonio told "You see the type of work that goes into it. You see the type of culture that's been built.

“I'm always impressed with how Coach Izzo carries himself, in terms of his concern for the university, and his concern for all the other coaches within the program.

"Not just his basketball coaches, but for everybody across the board at Michigan State. Through every turn at Michigan State, from my experience, I've picked up that phone many, many times and called Coach Izzo."

MSU women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant calls Izzo a “Hall of Fame coach and the face of our university.”

“The fact that he’s so down to earth and cares about every sport is pretty amazing,” Merchant told the Lansing State Journal.



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