Spartans coach Tom Izzo on Oakland coach Greg Kampe: “I hate him on Saturday”

The Michigan State Spartans and Oakland Golden Grizzlies will get together this afternoon at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit for what will be the 18th matchup between the two.

Spartans head coach and Golden Grizzlies head coach Greg Kampe happen to be good buddies – but off the court only. Izzo explained that friendship will once again have to be put on hold for an afternoon.

“I hate him on Saturday. He’s not my friend at all on Saturday. After the game, he can be my friend,” Izzo said with a chuckle. “First of all, they play good. I think what you gotta realize is that is their Madison Square Garden game. And for their guys, it’s an unbelievable opportunity not only to play in an arena like that – usually, it’s been a packed house – and then to play a team like us, to be honest with you.”

So far, Izzo and the Spartans haven’t lost to the Golden Grizzlies. But Izzo knows that it could soon change, and he’s not letting his team’s undefeated record all-time against Oakland fool him into thinking it’ll be an easy matchup.

“As you’re seeing in college basketball, is anybody safe anywhere, anyplace, anytime? I think the answer is no,” Izzo said Wednesday after practice. “I think we’re all figuring that out. “It’s the year of those kind of things, the unknown and parity. Why? I don’t know. But we’re approaching this game as a big game for a lot of reasons.”

Michigan State and Oakland will tip off just after 12:00 PM on ESPN2.

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