Much has to be said about Tom Izzo and coaching in March. In his 20 years at the helm of the Michigan State Spartans Men’s Basketball Program, Izzo’s led Sparty to 7 Final Fours. Of those 7 Final Four appearances, his 1999-2000 team was the only one to give Tom Izzo the ever-so coveted National Crown. Winners of both the Big 10 Conference Regular Season and Conference Tournament, the Spartans earned themselves the top seed in the Midwest Region. That 2000 team was led by a trio from Flint, Michigan known to the masses as the FLINTstones. Heralded Point Guard Mateen Cleaves was the head of the monster, supported by childhood friends and future pros Morris Peterson & Charlie Bell. Another key contributor to the Spartan cause was 2-time NBA Dunk Champ Jason RichardsonMSU ran through the tournament, winning each game by double-digits, culminating in their dispatching of a talented Florida Gators team, led by future pros Mike Miller & Udonis Haslem, in that National Title Game (89-76). For his heroic performance and steady play throughout the NCAA tournament, Mateen Cleaves was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament. Aside from their exploits on the hardwood, the Spartans captivated American youth that spring with their choice of footwear. Allen Iverson was arguably the most popular basketball player at the time with a shoe-line to match his persona. Cleaves and company rocked a fresh pair of Reebok Question’s on their way to the Chip.
Next up for Tom Izzo’s current Spartans is a Final Four date with Coach K’s Duke Blue Devils. Good luck to the Michigan State Spartans as they look to give Coach Izzo his second National Title.