Tom Izzo needs to take notes from this year's Final Four teams

Michigan State v Mississippi State
Michigan State v Mississippi State / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

One thing's for certain in college basketball nowadays: adapt or become irrelevant. This statement is becoming increasingly true as the transfer portal is dominating the discussions surrounding college basketball. Michigan State unfortunately has been one of the programs who hasn't really dipped their toes into the portal.

And the Spartans have paid the price for that decision the last few years.

However, if there was ever a year that would show us (and Tom Izzo) how useful the transfer portal can be, it is this year. Just take a look at the four Final Four team's starting fives and what school they began their careers at.

This graphic shows you just how successful you can be by utilizing the transfer portal. Just look at the starting fives for Alabama and NC State. Only one starter for Alabama began their career with the Tide and a whopping zero for NC State began their careers with the Wolfpack. Even UConn has two players in their starting five that began their careers elsewhere.

What did Michigan State's look like this season? Only one player in the Spartans' starting five began their career elsewhere. And who was it? Oh yeah, just Tyson Walker, the best player on the team.

Now don't get me wrong, it's still possible to win without using the portal. It is just extremely difficult to do. Four of Purdue's starters began their career in West Lafayette, so they are a prime example that you can win without the portal. I don't think the Boilermakers are the greatest example of this considering they have the two-time defending National Player of the Year on their team. Anyone in the country could win with Edey.

So I think it's clear that the transfer portal is the answer now and in the forseeable future. So hopefully this Final Four is a wakeup call for Tom Izzo. Adapt and use the portal or become irrelevant to the college basketball world.

MSU is nowhere near irrelevant yet, but the Spartans are in their worst place in years.

Thankfully for Spartan fans, Michigan State has been linked to a few names in the portal already. That is a great sign as this proves that Izzo maybe is finally learning how important the portal is. But the next step is actually landing someone in the portal. If Izzo can do that, there's no reason why MSU can't compete with the best teams in the Big Ten next season.