This is the biggest Michigan State basketball offseason of the Tom Izzo era

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play against North Carolina during the second half of
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play against North Carolina during the second half of / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Here we are in the midst of the most important offseason of Tom Izzo's tenure with Michigan State basketball. The Spartans are fresh off a disappointing Round of 32 loss to North Carolina and the careers of Malik Hall and Tyson Walker are officially over in a Michigan State uniform.

East Lansing is a much quieter place after Michigan State is eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, but there's a bit of tension among fans regarding how the season played out.

Michigan State began the year No. 4 in the country with national title aspirations and one of the most veteran teams in the nation returning. Unfortunately, a couple of the veterans didn't live up to the hype and the lack of a true starting-caliber center really hurt this team, leading to yet another mediocre season (the Spartans' fourth straight).

Following the season's end, Izzo will have to address the losses of Hall and Walker and potentially AJ Hoggard and Mady Sissoko. There could be a transfer or two out of the program. Hopefully, there's a transfer or two into the program as well.

Izzo vowed after the final buzzer sounded against North Carolina that he would get Michigan State back to deep runs in March "or die trying".

Let's hope he keeps his word.

That effort will begin this offseason. That will mean he'll need to trim some of the fat on the team and add some key starting-caliber pieces at the wing and center spots or some depth via the portal. He has always been outspoken against the portal and has maintained his stance that it's bad for some kids, but he knows that he needs to join the rest of the nation in utilizing it. That's how he's going to get back to deep March runs.

We'll know a lot about the future of this program based on how Izzo treats this massive offseason. Will he stand pat and let everyone else scoop up all the top portal kids and improve or will he stand true to his word and "die trying" to get Michigan State basketball back to the top?

Let's hope it's the latter.