Tom Izzo gushes over Michigan State's performance in final stretch: 'This team should be appreciated'
Tom Izzo is known for the fire and intensity he brings to the sideline every single game. But following Michigan State’s critical 70-64 win over Michigan to close the season on Sunday, the longtime leader of the Spartans let his guard down just a little bit.
He has a lot of respect and appreciation for what his team just accomplished.
Michigan State completed a six-game, 13-day stretch that was incredibly successful, but also absolutely taxing. Needing a strong run down the stretch to work their way back into NCAA Tournament consideration, the Spartans rattled off wins against No. 5 Illinois, No. 4 Ohio State, Indiana and No. 2 Michigan to get off the bubble.
After starting the season with a 10-9 record — which included a 4-9 mark in B1G play — MSU won five of its final seven games to finish 15-11 and 9-11 in conference games.
“This team will never hang a banner,” Izzo said, per Kyle Austin of MLive.com. “But this team should be appreciated for what they went through and what they gave us. They hung in there, man.”
Izzo: “This team will never hang a banner…but this team should be appreciated for what they went through and what they gave us. They hung in there, man.”
— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) March 8, 2021
The Spartans were placed on a pause midway through the season due to COVID-19 concerns. There was a 20-day break between B1G competitions and the conference’s rescheduling dates forced Michigan State to play six games in the final 13 days.
And yet, MSU found a way to beat three ranked opponents down a pivotal stretch. Now, it looks like the Spartans will extend their NCAA Tournament appearance streak another year, regardless of what happens in the B1G Tournament.
Michigan State will get a much-needed rest before hopping back into action on Thursday. The Spartans will open B1G Tournament play against Maryland.