Dale G. Young / AP
Everyone in Michigan wants to know what Tom Izzo’s doing. Friday it was fans gathering outside the Breslin Center. Today, it was an inquisitive camper and state lawmakers.
Bill Ford Jr. must be next.
A bipartisan group of seven Michigan lawmakers (Izzo’s apparently the unifier) wrote the coach encouraging him to stay in East Lansing, according to The Hill.com. And they laid it on thick:
“Coach Izzo, you certainly have had great success on the basketball court, with an NCAA National Championship, six Final Four appearances and four National Coach of the Year awards,” the lawmakers wrote. “Far more important than that in our eyes, however, is that you have been an ambassador for Michigan, a philanthropist and the kind of leader of student athletes of whom every Michigander can be proud.
“Coach Izzo, we wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future, a future we certainly hope includes you and your family remaining in East Lansing focused on continuing to win titles at Michigan State, change young men’s lives and promote Michigan on the national stage.”
Tough to top the camper, though. A kid at Michigan State’s week-long basketball camp showed no fear Monday morning, asking Izzo if he was heading to Cleveland. Not that the coach liked the query.
“Bad question,” Izzo said. “[the media] want to know that.”
That kid’s got a future as a sports blogger/writer.
Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.
And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.
The rest of the top 10?
They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: