Big Ten Tournament 2012: Tom Izzo Gives Michigan State Spartans Huge Advantage

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIMarch 10, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans talks with Adreian Payne #5 against the Wisconsin Badgers during their Semifinal game of the 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Conference Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Michigan State Spartans coach Tom Izzo is one of the best college basketball coaches of our time, if not the best, and he gives his team a huge advantage in the 2012 Big Ten tournament.

He also gives the Spartans a huge advantage in the 2012 NCAA tournament, but we'll leave March Madness for later.

It's fitting that right now the Spartans are looking to match up with one of their two biggest rivals—either the Michigan Wolverines or Ohio State Buckeyes—and Izzo and his coaching prowess will be the key to beating one of these two talented teams.

The guy is just really good at what he does, and he alone keeps the Spartans in the national title hunt every year.

People want to play for Tom Izzo; it is literally that simple.

How do you think the Spartans have been so consistently good under Izzo for so long? His name alone recruits one star to the next, so by the time one of his big names is ready to walk out the door via graduation or the NBA, another has been primed to come in and take that spot.

It's a brilliant way of coaching and recruiting that truly separates the elite in college basketball from just the good.

All this being said, no matter which of the two teams the Spartans will face, Izzo is going to have his hands full.

The Buckeyes have a very strong frontcourt led by star center Jared Sullinger—who scored 14 points and 10 rebounds the last time these two teams met up—and the Wolverines are led by freshman phenom guard Trey Burke.

Both teams are worthy adversaries and both have good coaches, but neither Ohio State's Thad Matta or Michigan's John Beilein are on Izzo's level.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10:  Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans talks with head coach Tom Izzo as he comes out of the game in the final minutes of the second half during their Semifinal game of the 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Conference
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

He possesses a moxie and championship experience that only few coaches have in the college basketball world, and that's what sets his team apart.

They know what they are doing because he knows what he is doing.

Izzo is one of the best, and that's why his teams consistently are.

I expect the Spartans will beat one of their two bitter rivals and win the 2012 Big Ten tournament.


Follow <span class=