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Michigan State knocked off the beasts from the big east on Sunday. And Tom Izzo felt the gravity of the upset win.
The Spartans upset Marquette, 69-60, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
It will be a familiar sight for Tom Izzo, a.k.a Mr. March, as he reaches his 15th appearance in the regional semifinal round.
After the game, Izzo put it all on the court: delivering an emotional postgame speech after watching his young group endure a challenging year for Michigan State.
Tough Year For MSU
“It’s been a long year. I’m just happy for our guys,” Izzo said, holding back tears.
Taking into account the passionate journey for MSU following an on-campus shooting that killed three students on Feb. 13, the Spartans had an emotional motivation to make a splash this March.
Having missed the Sweet Sixteen for the past three years, Izzo was hungry to get back to the semifinal round.
READ: MICHIGAN STATE COACH TOM IZZO POURS IT OUT DURING VIGIL FOLLOWING MASS SHOOTING
Northeastern transfer point guard Tyson Walker shined against Marquette, leading MSU with 23 points.
Shaka Smart’s offense was out of sorts against MSU’s defense in an uncharacteristic performance that reared its head at the worst point in the season for second-seeded Marquette.
The Spartans had several key blocks in crunch time, including a block by MSU big man Mady Sissoko that was a millisecond away from being a goaltend.
Marquette also suffered from a turnover-heavy day, recording 16 against MSU’s 13.
Izzo and his Spartans will gear up to take on third-seeded Kansas State at Madison Square Garden on Thursday. The famed coach has reached the Final Four eight times and the national championship game three times.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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