Tom Izzo Seems To Take A Shot At Michigan

Michigan State snuck their way into the NCAA Tournament by going 2-1 in their last three games of the season. However, they will have to play in against UCLA for their chance to dance. Tom Izzo and the Spartans went just 15-12 overall and 9-11 in the conference. Making it in the tournament is a big accomplishment based on their record, but Coach Izzo thinks the Spartans could have avoided playing in had they done things a little differently.

Izzo was asked on Sunday if he believes his team did the right thing by playing three games right after going on a break due to COVID tests within the program. When answering the question, Izzo appeared to take a shot at the Michigan Wolverines. “It seems like some teams got a tremendous benefit from not playing games.”, said Izzo.

Tom Izzo is clearly talking about Michigan here. Michigan is the only team in the Big Ten that didn’t play at least 19 conference games. Michigan had four games postponed due to COVID and only made up one of them. Despite playing only 17 games, Michigan was declared the Big Ten conference champions and was rewarded with a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

The debate on whether or not a team is hurt or benefited by cancelled games started with football and has made its way into college basketball. There are two sides to the argument here and, in Izzo’s case, he may have actually benefited. Had Michigan State not elected to play all their games, they may not have gotten a second shot a Michigan. Beating the Wolverines at home to end the season may have been the resume boost the Spartans needed to get them into the tournament at all.

It’s hard telling whether or not Michagan benefited from not playing all their games. One thing that is for certain, though, is that Tom Izzo knows how to get his teams ready for March. I fully expect the Spartans to win their play-in game vs. UCLA and make a respectable tournament run.

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