Michigan State Spartans men's basketball

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Michigan State Spartans
2014–15 Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team
Michigan State Spartans athletic logo
University Michigan State University
Conference Big Ten
Location East Lansing, MI
Head coach Tom Izzo (20th year)
Arena Breslin Center
(Capacity: 14,797)
Nickname Spartans
Student section Izzone
Colors

Green and White

            
Uniforms
Kit body darkgreenwhitestriped sides.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts blanksides2.png
Team colours
Home
Kit body whitesleevelinesandsides.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts whitesides.png
Team colours
Away
NCAA Tournament champions
1979, 2000
NCAA Tournament runner up
2009
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1957, 1979, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1957, 1959, 1978, 1979, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1957, 1959, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1978, 1979, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament appearances
1957, 1959, 1978, 1979, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Conference tournament champions
1999, 2000, 2012, 2014
Conference regular season champions
1957, 1959, 1967, 1978, 1979, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2012

The Michigan State Spartans basketball team represents Michigan State University (MSU) and competes in the Big Ten Conference of NCAA Division I. The team currently plays at the Breslin Student Events Center.[1][2] Since 1995, Tom Izzo has been the team's head coach, presiding over a prolonged period of success.

Michigan State basketball team has a long history that is rich in tradition. The team has won two NCAA championships and 13 Big Ten championships in basketball. The Spartans won the National Championship in both the 1979 NCAA Tournament and 2000 NCAA Tournament. The 1979 National Championship story line was highly touted as Magic vs. Bird on YouTube. The 1979 championship game is largely credited with launching March Madness.[3] And despite a smaller total American population, the 1979 Championship game remains the highest watched college basketball game in history, with 35.11 million viewers.[4] It was achieved by a team under the coaching of Jud Heathcote that included MVP Magic Johnson, Greg Kelser and Jay Vincent. MSU beat the then undefeated Indiana State Sycamores, led by future NBA hall of famer Larry Bird. The 2000 National Championship on YouTube was achieved by Morris Peterson, A.J. Granger, Charlie Bell, Jason Richardson and MVP Mateen Cleaves leading the team in a victory over the Florida Gators.

Michigan State basketball has been selected for 17 consecutive NCAA tournament bids (1998–2014) as of the end of the 2014 regular season, which is the third-longest active streak of NCAA tournament bids, behind Kansas (25) and Duke (19). Overall, Michigan State has been to the Final Four a total of eight times in its history (1957, 1979, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2010), which is tied for 8th all time, and has made 27 NCAA Tournament appearances. The program is also 9th all time in NCAA tournament winning percentage.

On December 13, 2003, Michigan State and Kentucky played at the most-attended college basketball game in history known as the Basketbowl. They played this game in front of 78,129 people at Ford Field, a football stadium converted to a basketball court for this game in Detroit. Kentucky won by a score of 79–74.[5]

Coaches[edit]

Michigan State coaches have led the Spartans to 2 NCAA Championships, 8 Final Fours, 27 NCAA Tournament appearances, 13 Big Ten Conference Championships and 4 Big Ten Tournament titles. Michigan State has two coaches that are in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, Pete Newell (class of 2006) and Jud Heathcote (class of 2009). On November 28, 2009 Tom Izzo passed Jud Heathcote's mark of 340 career wins by beating U Mass 106-68. Tom Izzo now leads all MSU basketball coaches in wins.[6]

Of all MSU coaches who have headed the Spartans basketball squad in at least a dozen games, Izzo is second in winning percentage and no MSU coach tops him since 1910. Former coach George E. Denman won all 11 games he coached between 1901–03 and Chester L. Brewer won 70 of 95 games from 1903 to 1910.[6]

Overall Conference
Name Years Record Pct. Record Pct. Note
None established 1898-99 0-2 .000
Charles O. Bemies 1899–1901 5-2 .714 Michigan State's first basketball coach.
George E. Denman 1901-03 11-0 1.000 Michigan State's only undefeated basketball coach.
Chester L. Brewer 1903-10 70-25 .737
John F. Macklin 1910-16 48-38 .558
George E. Gauthier 1916-20 47-39 .547
Lyman L. Frimodig 1920-22 24-21 .533
Fred H. Walker 1922-24 20-19 .513
John H. Kobs 1924-26 11-26 .297
Benjamin F. VanAlstyne 1926-49 231-163 .586 Avg. final score increased from 28 to 46 during his tenure[7]
Alton S. Kircher 1949-50 4-18 .182
Peter F. Newell 1950-54 45-42 .517 26-34 .433 Went on to win the 1959 NCAA tournament as head coach at Cal; coached the U.S. to the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics
Forrest A. Anderson 1954-65 125-124 .502 69-85 .448 Guided Michigan State to its first Final Four and NCAA appearance in 1957; 2 NCAA Appearances; 2 Conference Championships
John E. Benington 1965-69 54-38 .587 32-24 .571 Conference Championship in 1967
Gus G. Ganakas 1969-76 89-84 .514 49-57 .462
Jud Heathcote 1976-95 340-220 .607 181-161 .529 1979 NCAA Champs; 9 NCAA Appearances; 3 Conference Championships
Tom Izzo 1995–Present 439-178 .712 209-95 .693 2000 NCAA Champs; 2009 National Runner up, Final Four appearances in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2010; 17 straight NCAA Tourney Appearances; 7 Conference Championships; 4 Conference Tournament Championships
Total 1,563-1,039 .601 553-451 .551

Jud Heathcote era (1976–1995)[edit]

Jud Heathcote led the Spartans to the 1979 national championship and coached one of the game's all-time greats, Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Heathcote succeeded Gus Ganakas, who is currently an MSU basketball radio announcer, as coach in 1976. Heathcote stepped down in 1995 with nine NCAA appearances, three Big Ten championships and three NIT appearances.

Results by season under Heathcote:[6]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Michigan State (Big Ten Conference) (1976–1995)
1976–1977 Michigan St. 12-15 9-9 6th
1977–1978 Michigan St. 25-5 15-3 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1978–1979 Michigan St. 26-6 13-5 1st NCAA Champions
1979–1980 Michigan St. 12-15 6-12 9th
1980–1981 Michigan St. 13-14 7-11 8th
1981–1982 Michigan St. 11-17 6-12 T-7th
1982–1983 Michigan St. 17-13 9-9 T-6th NIT Second Round
1983–1984 Michigan St. 16-12 9-9 5th
1984–1985 Michigan St. 19-10 10-8 T-5th NCAA First Round
1985–1986 Michigan St. 23-8 12-6 3rd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1986–1987 Michigan St. 11-17 6-12 7th
1987-1988 Michigan St. 10-18 5-13 8th
1988-1989 Michigan St. 18-15 6-12 T-8th NIT Final Four
1989-1990 Michigan St. 28-6 15-3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1990-1991 Michigan St. 19-11 11-7 T-3rd NCAA Second Round
1991-1992 Michigan St. 22-8 11-7 T-3rd NCAA Second Round
1992-1993 Michigan St. 15-13 7-11 T-8th NIT First Round
1993-1994 Michigan St. 20-12 10-8 T-4th NCAA Second Round
1994-1995 Michigan St. 22-6 14-4 2nd NCAA First Round
Michigan St.: 340-220 (.607) 181-161 (.529)
Total: 340-220 (.607)

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Tom Izzo era (1995–present)[edit]

Since 1995, the team has been coached by Tom Izzo, who has an overall record of 466–184 as head coach at Michigan State. Izzo coached the Spartans to their second national championship in 2000 with an 89–76 victory over Florida. Izzo has guided the Spartans to six of twelve NCAA Final Fours from 1999 to 2010, an accomplishment unmatched by any other college basketball program during that span. The coach has also appeared in a postseason tournament every year he has headed the MSU basketball program.

Izzo has received numerous awards including the 1998 Associated Press National Coach of the Year, the 1998 Basketball News National Coach of the Year, the 1998 United States Basketball Writers Association Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, the 1998 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, the 1998 Basketball Times Mideast Coach of the Year, the 1999 Basketball News Coach of the Year Award, the 2001 National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year Award, the 2005 Clair Bee Award,[8] the 2009 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year and the 2012 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year.

Izzo also helped his assistants secure head coaching jobs across the basketball world. Five current Division I head coaches served as assistants under Izzo: Brian Gregory at Georgia Tech, Tom Crean at Indiana, Stan Heath at South Florida, Mark Montgomery at Northern Illinois, and Doug Wojcik at Tulsa. Current assistant coach Mike Garland spent three seasons as head coach at Cleveland State following an initial seven-year stint at MSU. Former MSU assistant Stan Joplin had previously coached at Toledo until he was let go following the 2007–08 season.[9]

Results by season under Izzo:[6]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Michigan State (Big Ten Conference) (1995–Current)
1995–1996 Michigan State 16–16 9–9 7th NIT 2nd Round
1996–1997 Michigan State 17–12 9–9 T–6th NIT 2nd Round
1997–1998 Michigan State 22–8 13–3 T–1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1998–1999 Michigan State 33–5 15–1 1st NCAA Final Four
1999–2000 Michigan State 32–7 13–3 T–1st NCAA Champions
2000–2001 Michigan State 28–5 13–3 T–1st NCAA Final Four
2001–2002 Michigan State 19–12 10–6 5th NCAA 1st Round
2002–2003 Michigan State 22–13 10–6 T–3rd NCAA Elite Eight
2003–2004 Michigan State 18–12 12–4 T–2nd NCAA 1st Round
2004–2005 Michigan State 26–7 13–3 2nd NCAA Final Four
2005–2006 Michigan State 22–12 8–8 T–6th NCAA 1st Round
2006–2007 Michigan State 23–12 8–8 T–7th NCAA 2nd Round
2007–2008 Michigan State 27–9 12–6 4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2008–2009 Michigan State 31–7 15–3 1st NCAA Runner-Up
2009–2010 Michigan State 28–9 14–4 T–1st NCAA Final Four
2010–2011 Michigan State 19–15 9–9 T–4th NCAA 1st Round
2011–2012 Michigan State 29–8 13–5 T-1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2012–2013 Michigan State 27–9 13–5 T–2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2013–2014 Michigan State 29–9 12–6 T–2nd NCAA Elite Eight
Michigan State: 466–184 221–101
Total: 466-184

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Players[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

Michigan State Spartans retired numbers
No. Player Position Tenure
4 Scott Skiles PG 1982–86
12 Mateen Cleaves G 1996–2000
21 Steve Smith SG 1987–91
24 Johnny Green SF 1955–58
Shawn Respert PG 1991–95
31 Jay Vincent SF 1978–81
32 Greg Kelser SF 1976–79
33 Magic Johnson PG 1977–79
42 Morris Peterson SG, SF 1995–2000
- Jud Heathcote Head Coach 1976–95

Spartans formerly or currently in the NBA include Maurice Ager, Alan Anderson, Charlie Bell, Shannon Brown, Mateen Cleaves, Erazem Lorbek, Paul Davis, Terry Furlow, Jamie Feick, Johnny Green, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Greg Kelser, Morris Peterson, Zach Randolph, Shawn Respert, Jason Richardson, Scott Skiles, Steve Smith, Eric Snow, Sam Vincent, Jay Vincent, Kevin Willis, and Draymond Green. Former Spartan Robin Roberts played Major League Baseball and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame while another former Spartan, Brad Van Pelt, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Johnny Green, Greg Kelser, Magic Johnson, Jay Vincent, Scott Skiles, Steve Smith, Shawn Respert, Morris Peterson, and Mateen Cleaves are all former student athletes who have had their jersey number retired by Michigan State. The school also has raised a banner to the rafters honoring former coach Jud Heathcote.[10]

Postseason history[edit]

NCAA Tournament[edit]

The Spartans have appeared in 28 NCAA basketball tournaments with 2 NCAA basketball national championships. They also count 8 Final Fours and sport a 59–27 all-time NCAA tournament record following their most recent performance in the 2014 NCAA tournament. Michigan State has reached at least the Sweet Sixteen in 12 of the last 17 years, including 8 Elite Eight appearances and 6 Final Fours in that stretch.

National championships[edit]

1979 NCAA Tournament Results[11]
Round Opponent Score
Round #1 Bye
Round #2 #10 Lamar 95–64
Sweet 16 #3 LSU 87–71
Elite 8 #1 Notre Dame 80–68
Final 4 #9 Penn 101–67
Championship #1 Indiana State 75–64
2000 NCAA Tournament Results[12]
Round Opponent Score
Round #1 #16 Valparaiso 65–38
Round #2 #8 Utah 73–61
Sweet 16 #4 Syracuse 75-58
Elite 8 #2 Iowa State 75–64
Final 4 #8 Wisconsin 53–41
Championship #5 Florida 89–76

Complete NCAA tournament results[edit]

Year Seed Round Opponent Results
1957 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
Notre Dame
Kentucky
North Carolina
San Francisco
W 85–83
W 80–68
L 70–74 3OT
L 60–67
1959 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Marquette
Louisville
W 74–69
L 81–88
1978 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Providence
WKU
Kentucky
W 77–63
W 90–69
L 49–52
1979 #2 Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
#10 Lamar
#3 LSU
#1 Notre Dame
#9 Penn
#1 Indiana State
W 95–64
W 87–71
W 80–68
W 101–67
W 75–64
1985 #10 First Round #7 UAB L 68–70
1986 #5 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#12 Washington
#4 Georgetown
#1 Kansas
W 72–70
W 80–68
L 86–96 OT
1990 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#16 Murray State
#9 UC Santa Barbara
#4 Georgia Tech
W 75–71 OT
W 62–58
L 80–81 OT
1991 #5 First Round
Second Round
#12 Green Bay
#4 Utah
W 60–58
L 84–85 2OT
1992 #5 First Round
Second Round
#12 SW Missouri State
#4 Cincinnati
W 61–54
L 65–77
1994 #7 First Round
Second Round
#10 Seton Hall
#2 Duke
W 84–73
L 74–85
1995 #3 First Round #14 Weber State L 72–79
1998 #4 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#13 Eastern Michigan
#5 Princeton
#1 North Carolina
W 83–71
W 63–56
L 58–73
1999 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#16 Mount St. Mary's
#9 Ole Miss
#13 Oklahoma
#3 Kentucky
#1 Duke
W 76–53
W 74–66
W 54–46
W 73–66
L 62–68
2000 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
#16 Valparaiso
#8 Utah
#4 Syracuse
#2 Iowa State
#8 Wisconsin
#5 Florida
W 65–38
W 73–61
W 75–58
W 75–64
W 53–41
W 89–76
2001 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#16 Alabama State
#9 Fresno State
#12 Gonzaga
#11 Temple
#2 Arizona
W 69–35
W 81–65
W 77–62
W 69–62
L 61–80
2002 #10 First Round #7 NC State L 58–69
2003 #7 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#10 Colorado
#2 Florida
#6 Maryland
#1 Texas
W 79–64
W 68–46
W 60–58
L 76–85
2004 #7 First Round #10 Nevada L 66–72
2005 #5 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#12 Old Dominion
#13 Vermont
#1 Duke
#2 Kentucky
#1 North Carolina
W 89–81
W 72–61
W 78–68
W 94–88 OT
L 71–87
2006 #6 First Round #11 George Mason L 65–75
2007 #9 First Round
Second Round
#8 Marquette
#1 North Carolina
W 61–49
L 67–81
2008 #5 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#12 Temple
#4 Pittsburgh
#1 Memphis
W 72–61
W 65–54
L 74–92
2009 #2 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
#15 Robert Morris
#10 USC
#3 Kansas
#1 Louisville
#1 Connecticut
#1 North Carolina
W 77–62
W 74–69
W 67–62
W 64–52
W 82–73
L 72–89
2010 #5 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#12 New Mexico State
#4 Maryland
#9 Northern Iowa
#6 Tennessee
#5 Butler
W 70–67
W 85–83
W 59–52
W 70–69
L 50–52
2011 #10 Second Round #7 UCLA L 65–73
2012 #1 Second Round
Third Round
Sweet Sixteen
#16 Long Island
#9 Saint Louis
#4 Louisville
W 89–67
W 65–61
L 44–57
2013 #3 Second Round
Third Round
Sweet Sixteen
#14 Valparaiso
#6 Memphis
#2 Duke
W 65–54
W 70–48
L 61–71
2014 #4 Second Round
Third Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#13 Delaware
#12 Harvard
#1 Virginia
#7 Connecticut
W 93–78
W 80–73
W 61–59
L 54–60

NCAA Tournament history & seeds[edit]

The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.

Years '79 '85 '86 '90 '91 '92 '94 '95 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14
Seeds 2 10 5 1 5 5 7 3 4 1 1 1 10 7 7 5 6 9 5 2 5 10 1 3 4

Prior to seeding MSU appeared in the 1957, 1959, and 1978 NCAA Tournaments.[13]

NIT results[edit]

The Spartans have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) five times. Their combined record is 6–6.

Year Round Opponent Result
1983 First Round
Second Round
Bowling Green
Fresno State
W 72–71
L 58–72
1989 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
3rd Place Game
Kent State
Wichita State
Villanova
Saint Louis
UAB
W 83–69
W 79–67
W 70–63
L 64–74
L 76–78
1993 First Round Oklahoma L 86–88
1996 First Round
Second Round
Washington
Fresno State
W 64–50
L 70–80
1997 First Round
Second Round
George Washington
Florida State
W 65–50
L 63–68

Uniforms[edit]

Tom Izzo's teams have worn five different styles of jerseys during his eighteen years at Michigan State.

The current home jersey, introduced as part of a rebranding effort by the athletic department in April 2010, is white with green uniform numbers and a green custom font "SPARTANS" across the chest.[14] The road jersey is green with white uniform numbers and a white custom font "SPARTANS" across the chest.[14] The Spartans do not currently wear an official alternate uniform but the team has worn a silver alternate, a 1979 throwback, and a MAC (Michigan Agricultural College) uniform in the past. The team also wore specially-made camouflage jerseys for the 2011 Carrier Classic, played on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier against North Carolina.

Nike, Inc. started making jerseys for the team at the start of the 2000-01 season.

Home court[edit]

The Spartans play home games at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center on campus in East Lansing, Michigan. The arena is commonly referred to as "Breslin" and "the Bres", and was opened in 1989. It is named for Jacweir "Jack" Breslin, an MSU alumnus, former athlete and administrator, who first began pushing for the arena in 1969. Its capacity is 14,797 seats, and the stadium superseded Jenison Fieldhouse.

The arena's current basketball court is the same floor where the Spartans won the 2000 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, which was at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. The school purchased the floor from the NCAA and Final Four floor installer Horner Flooring after the title game. A plaque was installed on the baseline near the Michigan State tunnel to commemorate the floor's role in the school's history.[15]

The Breslin Center is home to the Izzone, a large student section named after Coach Izzo, the basketball team's head coach since 1995. The student section had been named Spartan Spirits and Jud's Jungle prior to Izzo's prominence at the school. The Izzone routinely gets mentioned in discussions of the nation's top student fan sections, and in 2006 was ranked as the 4th best in the country.[16] The section helped cheer the Spartans to a 53-game home win streak between 1998 and 2002 and also a 28 game winning streak from 2007 and 2009.[17]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]