Regarded as one of the best postseason coaches at the collegiate level, Tom Izzo has a storied March Madness history leading the Michigan State Spartans. In his 24th season at Michigan State, Izzo has only missed the March Madness tournament twice – both in his first two seasons.
There is a long-standing saying in college basketball that you “Can’t count out Tom Izzo in March”, however, the coach has struggled in recent years before MSU’s deep 2019 tournament run. With a first-round exit in 2016 followed by two second-round departures in 2017 and 2018, many were wondering if the legendary coach had lost his luster. However, a deep tournament run with a hobbled Michigan State squad has once again put the head coach back into the spotlight.
This begs the question, just what is Tom Izzo’s March Madness Record?
Tom Izzo: What is the Michigan State Coach’s March Madness Record?
Since taking over the Michigan State head coaching job, Tom Izzo has a career March Madness record of 52-20 across his 22 tournament appearances. Especially considering not just the caliber of opponents faced but the fact that the NCAA tournament is one of the least predictable events in sports, Izzo’s record in the postseason is truly remarkable.
Despite Izzo’s fantastic postseason track record, he only has one national championship to his name, coming in 2000. This final four marks the seventh of Izzo’s career, however, Izzo won’t have an easy path to another national title. With the scorching hot Texas Tech Red Raiders looming in their final four showdown, the Spartans will need all the help they can get to overcome the suffocating defense that Tech will throw their way.
Michigan State March Madness Tournament Recap
Michigan State got their March Madness tournament off on the right foot with a sound win over Bradley. While Bradley played inspired and was able to keep things a bit closer than they should have been, Michigan State showed off why they were gifted a second seed overall and simply dominated the Braves down the stretch as they pulled away.
Following their win over Bradley, MSU took on Richard Pitino and the red hot Minnesota Golden Gophers. Despite the Gophers knocking off a very solid Louisville squad in dominant fashion, they proved no match for Izzo and his deep/versatile roster. Led by Xavier Tillman and Cassius Winston, the Spartans utterly dominated the Gophers from wire to wire.
Next up, the Spartans faced tournament darling LSU. Despite losing head coach Will Wade to suspension, the Tigers looked like the team of destiny in the tournament as they rallied behind their disposed leader. However, Michigan State would make the high-scoring power-5 tournament darling look like a mid-major and beat them by a hefty 17 point margin.
In the regional finals, Michigan State drew their toughest test to date, top overall seed Duke. In what would be an incredibly exciting back and forth affair, Michigan State was able to pull away at the end in an incredibly exciting finish that sent them packing for the Final Four. The Spartans gameplan for the Blue Devils was perfect as although Zion still had a monster night, they mostly shut down any other player on the Duke roster and forced them into a one-dimensional offensive attack.
Heading into the final four, things shouldn’t get any easier. But if there is one thing we know, its that you “can never count out Tom Izzo in March.”