Coach Tom Izzo considers it long overdue for Michigan State to make an appearance in the Final Four.
Izzo has the talent to get that far this season. Usually, an Izzo-coached team reaches its expectations, which is why they’ll be cutting the nets at the regional championship game. That said, the Spartans have the talent to go farther than just the Final Four. Izzo has already established himself as a great basketball coach, but with one NCAA title under his belt, that’s not enough to be considered one of the greatest of all time. He needs at least one more.
It will come this season. Izzo is a proud man, and there’s one streak he doesn’t want to see end. Since he’s been the MSU coach for 18 years, he’s had every one of his fourth-year players in a Final Four. That streak would end if they don’t make the Final Four this season with Keith Appling and Adreian Payne as fourth-year seniors.
That alone will drive a team returning six of its top seven players to the Four Four. This time, they’ll win two more games once they get there.
Sophomore guard Gary Harris, who is the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, has enough talent to lead the Spartans a long way. Junior guard forward Branden Dawson is another key part of the no. 2-ranked team in preseason polls. When the season ends in April, they’ll be no. 1.