Tom Izzo and his Michigan State Spartans are set to take on Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils. This game is already pitched as one of the top coaching matchups, not only in this tournament but in all of the NCAA. These two are considered among the top coaches currently in the sport with Krzyzewski being heralded as one of the greatest of all time.
When these two squads meet the history favors Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils. They have a 7-2 winning record against the Spartans including one last season on a neutral court (Madison Square Garden). You may remember this meeting, this is when Coach K became the winningest coach of all time at 903 wins, passing his mentor Bob Knight (902).
However, it’s not all bad for the Spartans, the last time the two met in the NCAA tournament was in the round of 16 in 2005 and Michigan State came out on top 78-68. That year Duke was ranked #1 in their region and Michigan State eventually lost to North Carolina in the Final Four.
Coach K is one of the most decorated coaches in the history of NCAA, and we have previously established he has the most wins. He also has four NCAA championships, has been to 11 final fours, 12 ACC regular season championships, 13 ACC tournament championships, and two Olympic gold medals. He is about as decorated as they come.
Coach Izzo may not be as decorated as Coach K but he does have a very impressive resume with well over 400 wins, an NCAA championship, six trips to the final four, seven regular season Big-10 championships, and three Big-10 tournament championships.
Coach Izzo is known for coaching his teams to focus on rebounding and defense. Coach K has adapted his style around his current players but he tends to allow his point guard to run the floor. This year it is no different with Seth Curry setting the team up and taking over games when needed.
This contest should be a fun one to watch as both teams are full of talent, and as you can tell, both coaches are prestigious and know how to will their team to win. Tune in on Friday, March 29 at 9:45pm EST to watch these two prolific coaches go head to head.