Is this Tom Izzo's best coaching job?
But a month ago, who would have thought MSU would be in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament? Perception was the Spartans were done. Then they went from being the outsider to the trendy pick to win the national championship.
|Izzo: This season is turning out amazingly well|
Think of all the really top-line programs that aren't in the Elite Eight? Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Syracuse. It's been an impressive run for Izzo, who is more than living up to his longstanding reputation for getting his team prepped perfectly for March Madness.
Now he has done this before with underdog entries. Two of his Final Four teams, in 2005 and 2010, were fifth seeds.
This is from a fourth seed, a team which was drilled late in the season by Illinois, and beaten on the road by an Ohio State team, which didn't do well in the postseason.
Branden Dawson is turning into the classic MSU player. What a great comeback he has had from an unfortunate hand injury. Adreian Payne's foot woes seem like a distant memory.
A couple of Izzo's Final Four teams with Draymond Green did just kind of keep moving on when it wasn't expected.
Izzo's first Final Four team in 1999 came before MSU had established itself as a power, although was a top seed.
And it's true, when this season started, the Spartans were in the Top Three in the minds of virtually everybody nationally.
But the injuries and the Spartans poor play late in the regular season were much to overcome.
Some people, especially Michigan fans, sometimes tire of praise for Izzo.
Yet, it's difficult to knock the guy. The proof why is evident again this March. The guy is Mr. March.
My column: Michigan doesn't owe anyone an apology despite near collapse vs. Tennessee: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140328/michigan-doesnt-owe-anyone-an-apology-despite-near-collapse-vs-tennessee-pat-caputo-writes