WASHINGTON – At the very end of one of the best Elite Eight Circles in the history of the NCAA tournament, two Hall of Fame coaches and heavyweight-grade championship programs worthy of surprise comes with every Duke of the Michigan State. The only difference this time was the result, as Tom Izzo's familiar story, which did not correspond to the blue devils, was not repeated for the twelfth time at this particular stage.
This time, with a final bid on the line between ACC and Big Ten tournament champions, Izzo was the winner against Mike Krzyzewski, as the Spartans took down the shock of this year's Madness Madness with an impressive 68-67 victory. over the Blue Devils.
"We've just doubled our win over Duke, we're 2-11." Michigan coach Tom Izzo
"Let's take something else, as long as we start somewhat on the same planet," said Exo, when he discussed his rivalry with coach K. "We are now 2-11. We have just doubled our win over Duke. We are 2-11. "
It has been 14 years since Izzo's only victory against coach K and Duke before Sunday night. This last victory also came in the NCAA tournament when Michigan State 5 was defeated by the biggest Blue Devils before defeating Kentucky and making a Final Four.This final four came during the division, which is perhaps the most successful term of Izzo as coach, leading the Spartans of the 2000 national championship and six Final Fours between 1999 and 2010
Nobody would have guessed Michigan was in any kind of drought, but when you succeed of the NCAA tournament with this kind of sequence then it becomes a disappointment when the next eight seasons include only a final fourth look in 2015 and that the Final Four journey ends with a Duke loss which at that time was already established a very large and obvious thorn in the country of Exo and Michigan
After three consecutive seasons not only did not fall from the Final Four but also failed to escape the NCAA tournament's first weekend, this team in the Michigan State ended the all these disappointments in the last minutes of his it return. forward with Duke on Sunday night. This extra effort needed to play lockout, denying Sion Williamson of the ball and the finish, lied to the endurance and mental stamina established in a season that made the Spartans again and again overcome the difficulties.
"I can not tell you how pleasant it is because I know what's going through these guys," said Izzo. – Many people think they know what they've been through. But there is something to be at these meetings. And I think the biggest meeting I had in 10 years was when Nick [Ward] came down and called everyone at 7:30 the following morning and I just said, "we have to meet and review the situation and we will not change our goals. "
"I can not tell you how happy it is because I know what's going through these guys." Michigan Coach Tom Izzo
"They really bought, I told my media that it was a meeting that I do not know if I was trying to pump them up or get up because I was not ready, but they stick to "They wanted to be trained and they wanted to be pushed."
Injuries and failures had to make Michigan a team that was not considered a contender for a final four, and there was time this season when Izzo was not expecting , that will end with a deep penetration in March But the management of Cassie Winston, Matt McUway and Axis Michigan's veteran veterans kept Sparta hanging, and at the time of Selection Sundays about the ten regular seasons, tournament champions and conference tournaments emerged from the other side. as a contender for a final four in all but one way: the fact that he landed in the eastern district with Duke's number one.
Here at CBS Sports, the numbers have shown tremendous support for Duke as the most popular national Choice of Titles, with an incredible 43% of bracelet players choosing the Blue Devils to win the national title and even more astonishing 74 percent who choose Duke, at least to make the final four.
in full force, with Joshua Langford in the composition, Michigan's state gets more support from the public. But given the tremendous advantage of talent, most saw that Eastern Regional Duke would lose, and if the Spartans made Elite Eight, why does not this match break in the same way as in the last 14 seasons?
But when everything was obviously created for Duke, it was just when we had to see the things that disturbed Exozo's path. When his outbreak in Aaron Henry in the first round became a national point of talk about how coaches communicate, Henry continued to play his best game of the Sweet 16 season against the LSU and the whole team gathered behind his coach and backed up his demanding style.