Simonson: Duke Win Second Biggest Of Izzo's Career

Tom Izzo added to his legacy Sunday, beating Mike Krzyzewski for the first time since 2005

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
April 01, 2019 - 10:38 am
Tom Izzo Michigan State Duke Elite Eight

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Michigan State stunned Duke, 68-67, in the regional finals on Sunday, as Tom Izzo reached the eighth Final Four of his illustrious career.

This one, however, may have been sweeter than the rest.

“I know winning the national championship with the Flinstones was big,” CBS Sports Radio host Bill Simonson said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence, referring to the Spartans’ 2000 title with Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and Charlie Bell. “I know beating Michigan three times this year (was big). If you think about it, he had one win against Coach K before Sunday. I think this will go down as one of the biggest wins.”

Indeed, Izzo entered the game 1-11 against Mike Krzyzewski, with his last win coming in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. No. 2 Michigan State (32-6) will face No. 3 Texas Tech (30-6) this Saturday at 8:49 p.m ET.

“This win against Duke was so big for Izzo, how do you get back up (emotionally)?” Simonson asked. “Texas Tech comes in as the best defensive team in college basketball in that Final Four matchup Saturday night. How do you get back? But Izzo, outside of his national championship win beating Florida, this would be the biggest win in his career.”

Zion Williamson finished his final collegiate game with 24 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and three blocks, but Cassius Winston did just enough to lead the Spartans to victory. The junior point guard played 40 minutes and finished with 20 points, 10 assists and four steals.

“Beyond Zion Williamson, he is the best basketball player in this country,” Simonson said of Winston. “And I’ll say this right now: he’s the best basketball player left in the NCAA tournament.”