Saturday, March 16, 2013

Exciting win over Iowa; and appreciating the current glory years

Tonight's MSU win over Iowa fit the description of "barn burner." Somehow, some way, the Spartans had enough to beat an inspired Hawkeye team that seemed to lose their legs a bit in the last few minutes of the game. Now, it's another date with Ohio State.

These are the glory years of Michigan State basketball, and we as fans need to appreciate them while they last. I remember a time when just making the NCAA tournament was a cause for celebration. God bless Jud Heathcote, but he had his share of mediocre-to-godawful teams that in some years were just lucky to make the NIT. Tom Izzo has elevated the program to heights we've never seen before, and who knows if we'll see them again when he retires or moves on.

I certainly don't mean to disrespect Jud Heathcote. He was a truly great coach who may have been a little hamstrung by having to recruit kids to play in Jenison Field House, and his own (quite admirable) refusal to kiss the asses of high school basketball players.  This trait may have cost Jud a few top drawer recruits over his years at MSU. As it turns out, besides the 1979 national championship team, a guy named Tom Izzo is probably Jud Heathcote's greatest gift to Michigan State University.

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