Tom Izzo

USA Today

Michigan State Is Bent

The number two seed in Duke’s region.

March 18, 2019 - 10:31 am

And yes, Michigan State is pissed. They just went 28-6 and just won the Big Ten tournament and then they find out they’re the number two seed in Duke’s region. Then again, anyone as the number two seed in Duke’s region is going to be pissed.

But it’s even worse when you’re Michigan State and you see Michigan, the team you beat three times this year, getting the number two seed in Gonzaga’s region. Tom Izzo has to be thinking, why am I and my players killing themselves to win this tourney, when it really doesn’t even matter.  And if they’re winning that tourney and still being put in Duke’s bracket, that conference tournament really doesn’t matter.  How can it matter if they win it, and they beat Michigan THREE times, and Michigan has to deal with Gonzaga but Michigan State has to beat Duke just to get to the Final Four? Nothing against the Zags, this is a huge, huge Mark Few house as you know. But no one, anywhere, disputes Duke as the overall number one now that Zion is back. So Izzo is pissed. And has every right to be. 

When you beat Michigan three times and win the conference tournament, you’d think that would get you a better seed than Michigan, but it didn’t. Honestly, Michigan State might have had an argument for a number one seed and not only do they not get that, they get the toughest number two seed. That said, when you lose three times to Indiana and Illinois, you do open yourself up to that.

And when you consider the fact that Michigan State is 1-11 versus Duke since Tom Izzo took over. That stings. A lot.

But if you’re wanting to talk Selection Sunday traditions, there’s one new one and one old one that were both electric yesterday. First, it was Bobby Hurley and Arizona State. Last year, when the Sun Devils got in, Hurley and the team went sprinting out and jumped in the pool.

That is still one of the greatest Selection Sunday celebrations ever. And this year, with the team on the bubble, Hurley went back to work. They didn’t just ignore the bubble, they embraced it, with Bobby posing by a bubble machine for Twitter.

He said afterwards he tried to make sure that everyone was in the same seats and even that he was wearing the same socks. And then came the announcement.

Huge celebration, but no jumping in the pool. That’s a sign of how far the program has come. You don’t need to cannonball your way into the tournament.

But for Selection Sunday traditions, nothing will top the annual interview with John Calipari. And you know how it goes. Cal sits down in front of the camera and lets the world know about how the committee made it personal and about how they hurt his team because they were looking to hurt him. And honestly, there are definitely years where it felt like he had a point.

And he had a point yesterday, but it wasn’t about the committee coming after him. It was about him coming after recruits. Did you check his living room yesterday?

Just casually having a conversation in front of a bunch of framed jerseys of legends he coached at Kentucky. He’s talking about, well, I’ll be honest, it didn’t matter what he was talking about because all anyone was looking at were the framed jerseys of DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Anthony Davis, and Derrick Rose behind him.

And I love how casual it all was. Or was supposed to be. Not only were the frames not on the wall, they were still wrapped in plastic, like they just got back from the frame store at the mall and he hadn’t had time to put them up.

They were just begging for a question about them. Hey, John, what’s the new artwork you’ve got there? Oh, these things? These are just some jerseys of some guys I used to coach. Boogie, John, AD, and Derrick. Maybe you’ve heard of them?

They’ve only been to about a thousand all-star games and made about a billion dollars. I think some of these might even be Team USA jerseys. You’ve heard of Team USA, right? That’s when guys are so good that they go to the Olympics. Whatever. Not a big deal.  Nothing new. It’s what you already you know: if you want to be a lottery pick, you come to here. If you want to be a gold medalist, you come here. If you want to be both, you know where to sign your name. 

And you think this is bad, you should my bedroom. My office. My garage. He’ll this crib is freaking shrine to what I’ve built. I’ve got a Devin Booker in here somewhere. Same with Kevin Knox, Julius Randle, and Marcus Camby. At least I think I do. I’m running out of space. I saw an Eric Bledsoe jersey at some point. I think Tyreke Evans is out in the garage. Jamal Murray is averaging 18 and 5 a night for the Nuggets and I don’t think I even have room for him. I don’t know. I’ve coached a lot of NBA players. What was the question?

Who cares what the question was, because that whole interview wasn’t about what he was saying with his words, it was about what he was saying with his interior design. That was incredible. Just casually dropping names without even mentioning names.

And if anyone else did that, it would be the cheesiest, corniest thing ever. But with Cal, it’s the most Cal thing ever and I love it. That is truly incredible. Truly next level Cal. Always be recruiting. Always be closing.  Keep doing you, Cal, and don’t ever, ever let Rex in the Abq or anyone else poop in your ice cream.