Izzo: MSU not Final Four underdogs

Tom Izzo's last press conference in East Lansing before going to Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament Final Four. (March 31, 2015)

24 Hour News 8’s Casey Jones will be in Indy for the Final Four and will have live reports starting Thursday evening.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Heading into the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four this weekend, Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo says the Spartans are not the underdogs.

Left to right: Players from No. 1 seeds Kentucky, Wisconsin and Duke and No. 7 seed Michigan State.
(Left to right: Players from No. 1 seeds Kentucky, Wisconsin and Duke and No. 7 seed Michigan State.)

Between them, Michigan State, Duke, Wisconsin and Kentucky have been to 46 Final Fours and have won 15 national championships. But Michigan State is the only team standing that is not a No. 1 seed.

Izzo said that seeds don’t matter much at this point in the tournament. Connecticut won the NCAA title last year, and they were seventh-seeded — just like Michigan State is this year.

“I’ve been a one-seed, lost. I’ve been a one-seed and won. You know, been a five-, six-seed and got to the Final Four. Watched a friend on mine last year, in (Connecticut coach) Kevin Ollie, not only beat us but a bunch of other teams to win it from a seven,” Izzo said during a Tuesday press conference in East Lansing. “That doesn’t matter so much.”

Still, the Duke Blue Devils are not pushovers. Izzo is just 1-8 against Duke and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, including a 10-point loss this season.

“I’m not going to use the underdog role: That would be disrespecting to the program we’ve built,” Izzo said. “We’re not the nation’s pick and I understand that, too, but I don’t think we’ve been most of this tournament, so we’re still standing.”

The Final Four game will be broadcast on TBS, but there will also be team-specific broadcasts available. The MSU version, with former Spartan Mateen Cleaves providing analysis, will be broadcast on truTV.

Tipoff is scheduled for 6:09 p.m. ET Saturday.

The Spartans leave for Indianapolis on Thursday.


Inside woodtv.com:

Your guide to Final Four weekend in Indy

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