Tom Izzo And The Spartans Survive Dangerous Southern Cal Team

March 24, 2009 – 7:01 am by Michael Bean

Want to know just how consistently good Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans squads have been during his 14 year run in Lansing? How about this impressive streak. In the last 12 years, every Spartan who has stayed for four years has made it to the ultimate destination for any young collegiate kid playing hoops – the Final Four. If the streak is kept alive for Travis Walton and his senior teammates, Izzo will likely look back on their 2nd round game thriller against a very capable and streaking Trojans team from Southern Cal.

Let’s hear Izzo on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis talk about the resolve on his team and whether he thinks they can capitalize on this gut-check type of win to keep advancing. It ain’t getting any easier though. Next up is a clash with last year’s champs, the Kansas Jayhawks. And if they were to win, they’d likely face #1 Louisville, who’s taking on a dangerous, but decidedly overmatched Arizona team in the other regional semifinal.

On how proud he was of his team, particularly for being so unselfish:

“Give our guys credit. You know, our assists to baskets [ratio] was 20 out of 22, and as you know, that’s what you hope for in coaching – that they’re sharing the ball.”

On the challenge ahead:

“It’s going to be an interesting weekend. I mean Kansas is good. And Louisville; and nobody talks about Arizona but they must be doing something right.”

Is it a surprise that Kansas is back in position to make another run despite losing so many players from last year?

“Well it’s not, but you have to give Bill Self some credit on that too because he lost a lot of players. Now, in Aldridge and Collins he’s got two pros back and a great way to build. And it’s not like he didn’t go out and get some good players. You know, everybody talks about reloading – everybody reloads; some of it’s just real good talent. And they’re one of those programs that reloads with good talent.”

Listen here to Michigan State (#2 Midwest Region) Head Coach Tom Izzo on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis

View Midwest bracket coverage on CBS Sportsline

View highlights of Michigan State vs. USC

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