EAST LANSING, Mich. — There's a reason he's called "Mr. March." After securing his eighth Final Four on Sunday, Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo and his Spartans are no longer playing in march, but they're still cementing his legacy in the halls of the Breslin Center.
He's in pursuit of Michigan State's third national title, his second as head coach, but it's not just Izzo's doing.
"What excites me is what some of the former players have said to our guys: 'it's time for you to get your piece of history here...your footprint in the sand, banner on the ceiling. Whatever make people remember you long after you're gone," Izzo said. "It's a great credit to my staff and players that through all they've been through, they have a chance to do that."
Despite his success during the past 24 years, Izzo's not satisfied with making it to Minneapolis this season.
"I have my own goals and dreams and aspirations of what I want to do, and what I want to do is put Michigan State in rare air," Izzo said. "My goal is to win as much as I can win the right way, to make as many people happy that are fans, and make sure I make my players understand that to do great things, it's going to be very difficult."
The same holds for his players. Many come from the state in which Izzo has spent his life and career. They're now living the dream, playing for a coach they idolized.
"This is what you've dreamed of," said Kenny Goins, a native of Troy, Mich., "playing in a final four, and playing for the college that you've always rooted for. It's hard to realize how special it is when you're here, but when I signed here, and when I’m gone, it will really soak in just how special it's been to be a part of this team with my coach and teammates."
Thousands of students packed the Breslin Center on Sunday when Izzo and the Spartans brought home the regional championship, and they're hoping they can do the same next week.