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MSU aims for 3rd NCAA title, ‘Blue Blood’ status

MINNEAPOLIS (WOOD) — If Michigan State makes it through Texas Tech during Saturday’s Final Four matchup, the Spartans will be on their way to the NCAA championship game.

MSU head coach Tom Izzo is no stranger to this stage. In 2000 with the help of Mateen Cleaves, Izzo celebrated his first national championship with the Spartans.

Michigan State looked primed to join the ranks of Duke, Kansas and Kentucky as a blue blood program, but that dream has stalled. MSU has knocked on the door of a national title many times, but Izzo, now in his 24th season as the Spartans’ head coach, is still chasing his second crown.

Izzo is relentless in his pursuit for an elusive second national championship, and he’s got experience on his side. He’s the only coach among 2019’s Final Four teams to have tasted the NCAA title, or even make it to the Final Four.

“There’s nobody that can question coach Izzo’s legacy. He’s still out here coaching, staying up until 3 in the morning, for us to live out our dreams,” said MSU junior Cassius Winston.

A 2019 championship would be the third for MSU’s program. Only eight schools have won three or more championships — the blue bloods.

“I think winning it might put us at the top tier of the blue bloods, you know. Right there next to Duke, next to Kansas and Kentucky,” said MSU sophomore Xavier Tillman.

Only 15 coaches have won multiple titles. Izzo’s players know how much another title would mean to him and they would love nothing more than to deliver it.

“That would be amazing. For one, it’s the national championship. Ha… everybody want to be a part of that. And for him, to get to that point, that would be huge,” said Winston.