Tom Izzo Loves March So Much, He Won’t Even Touch April

Tom Izzo has done it again. While bringing at least a smirk back to every Kentucky fan’s face, he has brought another Final Four appearance back to East Lansing.

Izzo did the unthinkable. He slayed the mighty beast that was Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. Most importantly, his win over Duke is finally calling into question Coach K’s coaching ability and how it was possible that he did not win the title with his “best team ever”. April fools, K’s job is just as safe as when he won the championship in 2015.

When you think of what coach deserves the title “Mr. March”, you have to have Tom Izzo in the discussion. In his 20 year tenure at Michigan State, he has now punched a ticket to 8 Final Fours. Izzo owns March. He loves it, he is committed to it, he is MARRIED to it. So much so, that he would never dare do anything that even resembled cheating on it with April. Tom Izzo simply can’t close.

Keep in mind that Izzo has only won 1 NCAA Title. That was 19 years ago. Imagine if certain other coaches of blue blood schools had that kind of record. Gotta hand it to him thought. That shows some real dedication to have a good enough team to make it that far, just to choke away all of your hopes and dreams.

Can’t help but assume Izzo will remain faithful once again this year.

Best Elite 8 Game Ever

In honor of the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament and one the best weeks of sports all year, I wanted to look back and remember the best Elite 8 game and possibly one of the craziest NCAA Tournament games of all time.

This game was so emotional for me, not only as a Kentucky fan, but also as a young sports fan. It was one of the very rare games that you knew was a timeless classic while it was still happening. The game I am speaking of is the March 27, 2005, matchup of Kentucky and Michigan State.

The setting: Austin, Texas. The stakes: a trip to the Final Four. The beer: I wouldn’t know; I was 9. I sat in my neighbor’s living room in my #10 Keith Bogans jersey that I converted into an Lukasz Obrzut kit since Bogans went pro. Surprisingly, I actually worried about what was going to happen in the game instead of worrying what a redshirt junior was going to wear.

This was Tubby Smith’s best team he had had since he won the title in 1998. Rajon Rondo, Kelenna Azubuike, Patrick Sparks, Chuck Hayes and Randolph Morris made up the starting line up. Probably the most impressive team Kentucky would have until John Calipari arrived. On the other side was Tom Izzo’s Michigan State squad. Consisting of future NBA players like Shannon Brown, Maurice Ager and other names you haven’t heard in years, it easy to tell this was going to come down to the wire.

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And that it did. It was back and forth all game. No team pulling too far ahead before the other came storming back. It was going to come down to one team making an unbelievable shot at the buzzer. And Kentucky did just that.

Not only did the shot feel like it took a couple years for it to finally fall, but the replay review afterwards took an eternity. I have cheered louder very few times in my life then when they finally made the right call and sent the game to overtime.

It took two OT periods to decide a winner. Michigan State ended up the winner, 94-88. This was the first heartbreak I experienced as a Kentucky fan and it was certainly not the last.

Of course, Michigan State did not go on to win the NCAA Championship, because they were and still are coached by Tom Izzo. Titles just aren’t his thing.

Tom Izzo on the Hot Seat

If I could describe Tom Izzo in one word, I would use the word: OVERRATED. After Michigan State’s third loss in a row to unranked teams, Tom Izzo’s ass is now firmly in the jackpot.

Tom Izzo is no stranger to these ridiculously terrible stretches of basketball. Not only has he had multiple winless stretches, Izzo has not won a national title since 2000. Michigan State has become the Cincinnati Bengals in terms of enabling mediocrity.

It has been 19 years since Michigan State has hung a championship banner from the rafters. This guy is supposed to be one of the best coaches in America? He has only had one Final Four since 2010. Not exactly what anyone would call a “blue blood” program. “But..but..but he’s done so well in the Big 10.” No one cares; go have a seat over there with Kansas, because Bill Self isn’t far behind.

These last three games have been embarrassing. The first game of the losing streak was against Purdue. Lost by double digits. Game 2 was against Indiana. Lost in overtime at home. The last game was against Illinois. I’m pretty sure the song “No Scrubs” was written in reference to this team. Somehow Izzo could not figure out how to penetrate the mighty mighty Illini defense. Michigan State could not even get the ball inside the 3-point arc during their final possession.

Every coach has their thing. Calipari has his recruiting, Pitino has his defense, Coach K has the ability to rally his team around his convenient medical issues, Bob Knight tosses chairs, Bob Huggins has his jumpsuits; what does Tom Izzo have? Oh yeah, the uncanny ability to win one championship 19 years ago and coast that into retirement.

Tom Izzo is the O.G. Bill Self. Doing the bare minimum every year to keep his job. They do have more than just that in common; neither of them coach the best school in their state anymore.