A couple of great games on Sunday and, lo and behold, my two favorite teams are in the final four together for (I believe) the third time. Both games were very close, back and forth until one team finally pulled away at the end. Both could have gone either way, really. So what happens if they both win and meet in the final game for the championship? Then I have to root for MSU. I’ve been a Duke fan since I was about 15 years old, but I’ve been an MSU fan since the day I was born.
My father has two degrees from there. My mother was an administrator there. My stepfather taught there for 40 years. I grew up 2 miles from the campus. As much as I like and appreciate the Duke basketball program, you can’t compete with those kind of ties.
I also have a sister who runs the Breslin Center, where the Spartans play, but before that job she ran the MSU basketball program, starting back when Jud Heathcote was the coach. When Jud retired and they named Tom Izzo to replace him, I remember saying that was a bad move, that they should go out and find a big name coach instead of an assistant who’d never been a head coach.
Nancy told me, quite adamantly, that I was wrong. She had worked with Jud and Izzo for years and she told me, “Izzo will be a great coach, way better than Jud ever was. No one works as hard as that guy does.” Boy was she right. Six final fours in twelve years? Unbelievable.
Now he just needs six more final fours and two more championships to catch Coach K, who will probably own every coaching record other than total championships (no one is catching Wooden) before he’s done. Who knows, maybe one of them will get another one next week. I can’t wait to watch.