Thanks to three consecutive victories against Top-5 opponents, the Michigan State Spartans managed to turn what seemed like a bleak season around.
They’ll be facing the UCLA Bruins in Thursday’s play-in game, with the winner taking No. 6 BYU in the first round of the East Region.
“You know and I know, three weeks ago nobody gave us a chance, including probably most of you and hell, maybe even me,” Head coach Tom Izzo told reporters on Tuesday. “And we fought our way through that. That took courage and guts and I’m proud of them for that. Hopefully we can build on it.”
You can excuse the battle tested Izzo for not fearing anyone in their path.
“In seven of our last 10 games we played well and in nine of our last 10 we played a Quad 1 team, so I’m not nervous about facing any team in this tournament,” Izzo said. “I mean, I don’t feel comfortable with UCLA and BYU and Texas, but I don’t feel afraid of UCLA or BYU or Texas or anybody else because we truly have played the best teams in the country on a night-in, night-out basis, especially those last three weeks.”
“This will be a slugfest Thursday night,” Izzo said. “I think it will be one of the all-time great play-in games.”
What’s the goal for Izzo and company?
“Everyone’s got their own stories (in the Tournament), and my story is going to be, let’s do something that’s never been done for Michigan State,” Izzo said. “And that’s win three games in the same weekend in the NCAA tournament.”
– – Quotes via Will Burchfield of Radio.com Link – –