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Izzo’s goal: Put Final Four-bound MSU ‘in rare air’

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Fresh off the thrill of pulling out a last-minute victory over Duke Sunday, Michigan State University’s basketball team has set its sights on Minneapolis.

The Spartans will travel there for Saturday’s Final Four matchup against Texas Tech.

This is the tenth Final Four trip for MSU, eight of which have come under head coach Tom Izzo’s leadership.

Izzo ranks fifth among coaches with the most Final Four appearances in history. However, ahead of Tuesday’s practice, Izzo agreed a second national championship for his team would silence his critics and justify his tenure and time with the program.

“I need to validate it for me, I don’t need to validate it for them. I have my own goals and dreams. I have my own aspirations of what I want to do. What I want to do is put Michigan State University in rare air,” Izzo said.

“Five years ago, the fire and brimstone in me would’ve wanted to fight that person. Now I want to say ‘you’re right.’ I don’t want to say it to get them off my back. I want to say it because if that’s your goal for me, I promise you my goals are bigger than your goals,” explained Izzo.

Kenny Goins, Matt McQuaid and Cassisus Winston also addressed the media Tuesday — the same day Winston was named to The Associated Press’ All-America team.

The Final Four game between MSU and Texas Tech tips off at 8:49 p.m. Saturday. Tune in to 24 Hour News 8 for team coverage of the matchup and locker room reaction.

>>App users: Photos from Michigan State’s tournament run