So Michigan State wasn’t so much bounced out of the NCAA Basketball tourney as it was launched out from a cannon. And this time, the team doing so (Memphis) didn’t even wait for halftime, outscoring State 50-20.
Which leads to me finally having a doubt or two about Tom Izzo.
Consider this: While he’s been able to show up with some regularity in the NCAAs (and not just as a one-and-done or a weekender), he ends up being bounced from the tourney in a totally embarrassing form, as if the team they’re playing wants to prove that they don’t belong. How else to explain the freeze-out that Arizona dished out to MSU during the second half of the 2002 Quarterfinals? How else to explain the 50-20 first half by a Memphis team finally earning the respect they’ve been craving?
It’s not a matter of winning or losing. It’s more a matter of if you have to lose, at least make the other team sweat. Like Davidson losing to Kansas. You shouldn’t be standing in as the professional victim in a game turned into a highlight reel.
Another way to look at this is that, simply, Michigan State is able not to bend, but they break. And hard.
If I were an active MSU Alumnus (I have my reasons for holding back, more on me than on the University), I would try to get him to be a bit better in his adjustments. I don’t like it that a team wanting/needing to make a statement can come to Michigan State and feel secure that they can “show that team as desperately overrated and we’re the real deal.” Everyone gives him kudos and respect, maybe it’s time he proved he deserved it?
That’s what I’m thinking, at the moment.