On Monday afternoon, Tom Izzo admitted his program's NCAA Tournament streak spanning two decades mattered to him, calling it "something special."
But to him, success isn't based on streaks or records, which he indicated are meant to be broken.
"Every streak here since the day I came here means something to me," Izzo told reporters in a videoconference. "Every win means something to me, but I don't look at success or failure on streaks; I look at consistency over years."
With Michigan State's latest loss to Purdue Tuesday night, the likelihood of MSU making the big dance are slim to none.
The Spartans needed to leave Mackey Arena winners; instead, they head back to East Lansing 4-9 in conference play.
Aside from a miracle run, nothing Michigan State does will gain the selection committee's attention.
MSU played with a sense of urgency, the energy was ever-present, and they competed hard – it just wasn't enough.
The issues remained the same: inexperienced point guards, not enough shooting or big plays made down the stretch, and no post presence.
Trevion Williams, Purdue's go-to man, was a problem (again), pushing the Spartan bigs around, wreaking havoc, and scoring 28 points.
"To be brutally honest, whatever he wanted, he got," junior captain Aaron Henry said following the 75-65 loss. "He can pass, he can score over either shoulder, he uses the glass really well, and it didn't look like we had an answer for him."
Michigan State's down year isn't a total shock, especially after the departures of Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman Sr.
However, one season shouldn't define Izzo's legacy, nor MSU's, and in the postgame, the 66-year old echoed that sentiment.
"I'm not worried about that … I don't really give a damn what anybody thinks publicly … I know what's going on," said Izzo. "I know what we went through last night … I'm not worried about our brand, I'm not worried about Michigan State, and I'm not worried about the tournament. I'm worried about getting my team better."
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