EAST LANSING â€“ With Michigan State leading Minnesota 63-49 with one minute to go the IZZONE started chanting â€œ400-400-400.â€Â A few seconds later the eyes of the popular coach welled up with emotion as his 17th Spartan team brought home a 68-52 victory.Â
â€œ400 is just a number but it is a milestone, and I will take it!â€ said Izzo on the court after he became just the fourth coach in Big Ten Conference history to get 400 career victories.Â Later in the post-game press conference his entire team came up to the podium and captain Draymond Green presented Izzo with an autographed basketball signed by the entire team.
Green had a big night for the Spartans gaining his 29th career double/ double with a 22 point 14 rebound performance along with dishing out six assists.Â Freshman F Branden Dawson had 16 points tying his career high.Â Â
When Izzo was asked what the milestone victory means to him personally he said, â€œIt means over 17 years I have withheld the test of time at a neat place.â€Â Â Michigan State (17-4, 6-2) moved into a first-place tie in the Big Ten, while extending their winning streak at Breslin to 14 games.
The Spartans led by two midway through the first half when they went on a 16-5 run capped by a Draymond Green buzzer beating three pointer to give them a 37-27 advantage at halftime. Â With 14 boards Green now has 920 career rebounds for #4 on the MSU career list passing Paul Davis (910) and Mike Peplowski (906). Â After the game Green said, â€œThe win means a lot because he (IZZO) is my guy.Â I wanted to play for a coach who would push me, and win and after watching the Flintstones that is why I wanted to play for Tom Izzo at Michigan State.â€ Â Â
One student in the IZZONE held up a sign saying â€œ300 wasnâ€™t enough, 400!â€
Already MSUâ€™s all-time career victory leader, Izzo joined Bobby Knight (661 wins) at Indiana, Gene Keady (512) at Purdue, and Lou Henson (423) at Illinois as only the fourth coach in history to garner 400 career victories at a Big Ten institution.Â
Even referee Ed Hightower stopped by the MSU bench to congratulate the joyful Tom Izzo as the seconds wound down on this memorable night in the Breslin Center.