Rivalry reignited? Tom Izzo, John Beilein reminisce about facing each other during BTN segment
For years, John Beilein and Tom Izzo were fierce competitors as coaches at Michigan and Michigan State, respectively.
In 2020, however, they can just be guys who talk. While Izzo still roams the court in EastLansing, Beilein moved onto the NBA and is now a professor in Ann Arbor. The two got to sit down and have a fun chat recently as part of Big Ten Network’s Huddle Up.
"With you, I couldn't even hate my rival anymore. You made me better!"
Try not to smile watching these two reconnect. 😁
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 20, 2020
As the clip starts, Izzo points out his admiration for Beilein and how it was hard to hate Beilein, even though they were in-state rivals that were constantly at battle whether it’s in recruiting or winning the Big Ten.
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From there, the two go on to discuss how big the Michigan-Michigan State basketball rivalry is and how it should be put into the category of Duke-North Carolina. These are two people who aren’t exactly neutral on this discussion, but their point is taken.
It’s very clear from this interview that these two guys have a lot of respect for each other. And it makes sense. They’re probably two of the most respected guys in college basketball. Plus, they both showed they can win and win big. For the last decade, it’s been hardly a surprise when Michigan or Michigan State is in the Final Four.
Beilein will definitely bring some perspective to BTN after being just a few years removed from the league.