TO CLOSE

Michigan State Basketball Coach, Tom Izzo, addresses the media on Monday, March 18, 2019 in East Lansing.
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press

EAST LANSING – Tom Izzo wore his reading glasses at his press conference Monday to preview the NCAA tournament.

He was therefore fully prepared for the second Michigan State Seed question and had points of discussion in order.

"I'll say it once and do it only once today and then I'll move on to something else," Izzo said while reading on his sheet. "In April, I could have a lot more comments on that."

And he left with his nuanced defense.

The main concern of the Hall of Fame coach? The criteria of the NCAA Selection Committee in March in recent years was "like a moving target, which I do not understand". And he wants to know the three or four main criteria that each committee considers the most important to be able to "stick to it and never say a word.

"It's been years since Syracuse did not enter the race, they talked about the strength of the schedule and all that," said Izzo, who is in his 24th season at the MSU. "Every year there seems to be something different and more important."

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Michigan State coach Tom Izzo talks with his players in the final seconds of the Big Ten win against Michigan on Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Chicago. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Izzo also said that he "was probably going to screw up a lot of people in the world of basketball," believing that the four teams at College College Playoff had a more effective selection process and committee, including former coaches and players, compared to men from 68 NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, consisting of 10 athletic directors and conference curators.

The No. 5 Spartans (28-6), champions of the tournament and the Big Ten regular season, are open around 2:45 pm. Thursday, facing Bradley Braves (20-14), seeded 15th – who played 9-9 in conference but who won the Missouri Valley Conference – at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, in the US. Iowa.

The Spartans had more The winners of quadrant 1 of all Division I teams (13) defeated Michigan No. 8 in Sunday's Big Ten tournament title match in Chicago. They did it with the 13th most difficult day. MSU and Villanova are the only two very important schools to win both their regular season and post-season conference crowns this season.

However, the evaluations of the newly installed NCAA (NET) evaluation tool – which, according to the governing body, "rely on the results of the match, the strength of the program, the location of the match, the score margin, the net offensive and defensive efficiency, as well as the quality of the victories and defeats, "said the president. at an exit – ranks the Spartans eighth overall. The selection committee chose the Spartans as seeded number 6 on Sunday night.

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The committee chairman, Bernard Muir, said Sunday that MSU "was one of six or seven teams" engaged this week in search of a No. 1 seed. "They went to Duke, Va., North Carolina and Gonzaga, and Tennessee took the top spot as the fifth team on the committee, followed by MSU.

The MSU players took part in Sunday's Big Ten title game as they thought they would play No. 1, but Muir said the Spartans had only jumped into Kentucky in the final positions.

"I was looking at ESPN and things like that, and it was kind of the focal point: if we win (on UM), we should be able to participate in the debate as seed 1," said the l & # 39; second-year striker Xavier Tillman. "That's what I thought, but I guess not."

Izzo's problems were numerous and he thinks three things should be important in the NCAA selection process:

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Michigan State coach Tom Izzo encourages his players in the second half of the Big Ten win against Michigan on Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Chicago. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Planning: "Over the years, I've learned who you program is one. That's a big problem – who … does … you … program? And do you plan well? Izzo said. "If you are, it's an advantage. If you program well and you win, it's even more.

Championships: "And the championships have to count for something – I mean, they have to count for something – that's what everyone is trying to do: win a championship, be better than anyone else in this league, and win two, I think it speaks volumes. "

Geography: Izzo also stated that he believed, as a coach, that too much emphasis was placed on geographical proximity for placement in areas and pods.

"I mean, we are all sort of, we are almost in the Jetson era where we just fly around," he said. "And the focus should not be on geography, but rather on the reward of the teams that performed and who they are. We are splitting hairs, which can take us more than 10 minutes by plane, 100 miles more.

"So, thank God, there seem to be a lot more people than me upset about this."

And with that, he had finished talking about his problems with the process. He wanted to come back to Bradley, but not without saying one more thing.

"I'm grateful to be in the NCAA tournament. It's been 22 years in a row, and none of those 22 years has ever been taken for granted, "said Izzo. "I think it's pretty much all the time that this team may have gone through the events all year long. Another curve has been created: unfortunately, it is not the S curve.

"And I'm going to play against who they tell me to play – I will play them anywhere, anytime, as if I've been doing my whole career."

With his own words

Here's Tom Izzo's complete answer to the question of Free Press reporter Chris Solari: where does this rank stand with perhaps some of the other draws you've had for this team, and what is your opinion of the process?

Izzo: "Well, maybe that's the most important thing. I will say it once, do it only once today, then move on to something else. I may have many more comments on this in April, but when I looked at the document, there were principles in square brackets, and the principles in square brackets led me to think that, yes, I have some problems with the overall slice, but that's probably not quite what you think.

"I am a member of NABC, I have always been on the board, which is our governing body. Most of my career here, I've been the president and everything else. And our motto is that we are the guardians of the sport. So it's not just Michigan State, but the game. I'll say it once – as coaches, the selection process continues to be a moving target, which I do not understand. It was years ago that Syracuse did not arrive, they spoke about the strength of the schedule and this and that.

"Every year, there seems to be something different and more important. This one, everybody is talking about NET. Does anyone in this room have any idea of ​​what's the net? Well, I respect you all, but there are guys on TV who have been doing this for a long time that I respect a lot and do not know what it is that the NET. So it's not just you or me, not the media, and I think you probably have the same questions as me. People say it has to change, everyone says it has to change. As I learned a little about NET, my biggest concern is to create an environment in which the margin of victory now counts?

"As a coach, there are three main things that I think are important in this selection. Over the years, I've learned who you're planning is. That's a big problem – who … does … you … program? And you plan well? If you are, it is an advantage. If you program well and you win, it's even more. And the championships have to count for something. I mean, they have to count for something. That's what everyone is trying to do: win a championship, be better than any other player in this league. And to win two, I think that says a lot.

"My boyfriend (Steve) Mariucci was with me all weekend. And I will probably screw up a lot of people in the world of basketball. But I told him, "Football kicks us." And I really think so. I think they just did a better job. They have made it a priority to involve footballers in the selection committee, be they former players or coaches. But there are people in this room who understand what an injury is, when a guy returns from an injury after five or six games, not everything is the same two, three next. Mariucci and I had a good laugh.

"Finally, from a coaching point of view, I think that too much importance is given to this geography. I mean, we're all sort of, we're almost in the Jetson era where we just fly. And the focus should not be on geography, but rather on the reward of the teams that have performed and who they are. We are splitting hairs, which can take us more than 10 minutes by plane, 100 miles more.

"So, thank God, there seem to be many more people than me upset about this. But when I read things and see things on this committee, all I want – and I will not say a word about it – is give me the three or four most important things. But we can take this NET stuff and, when one of these principles is that you earn more than 10 points or you can not lose more than 10. You remember a few years ago in football where people were beating people 60-0, 70-0, because one had to surpass the other. They got rid of that, and that is why they have miles ahead of us because we have created an environment that is not good for pedestrians, nor for the 10th, 11th , 12th players. team, is not good for sportsmanship.

"Now, there is something that happened a week or two ago, and I was playing against someone.My staff said," Why do not you leave Cash or Kenny in? "Because another rebound, he gets a double-double, another help.The team we played, their coach was a bit in trouble.I do not do that.If that's what I have to get a seed higher or better, shame to the job in which I am.

"So I'm tired of talking about that. I am grateful to have participated in the NCAA Tournament. It's 22 years in a row, and none of those 22 years has ever been taken for granted. I think it's pretty much all the time that this team may have gone through the events all year long. Another curve has been established: unfortunately, it's not the S-curve. And I'm going to play against who they tell me to play – I'll play them anywhere, anywhere, no matter what. when, as I have done all my career. But it is difficult to understand because of this change of custody on the part of this selection committee what it expects of us. So, if someone gives me the three or four things that he wants, I will join him and I will not say anything anymore.

"So, do you want to go back to Bradley? I will be happy to pick up Bradley. "

Contact Chris Solari at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Learn more about the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.