Izzo had the Spartans revving in the mid-to-late 1990s (Photo: Lansing State Journal)
In 1995, a young Tom Izzo, an Iron Mountain, Mich. icon, took over the reins from Heathcote, his mentor.
And it was then that he lured in the building blocks of the "Flintstones," a collection of players from Flint that put Spartans hoops back on the map.
In 1998, Izzo's dream of glory started to come to fruition. In 1999, led by Mateen Cleaves, Charlie Bell, Antonio Smith and Morris Peterson, Michigan State made a name for itself by reaching the Final Four, Michigan State's first since 1979.
Izzo's club knocked off Mount St. Mary's, Ole Miss and Oklahoma before meeting the Kentucky Wildcats, national powers who were led by, among others, future Detroit Pistons star Tayshaun Prince.
After handing the Wildcats their walking papers in the Midwest Region Final, the Spartans met the Duke Blue Devils, led by Elton Brand (also a future NBA player) in a game that started a heated rivalry between Izzo and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, the man simply known as Coach K.
Coach K, already a figurehead in collegiate lore, X'd and O'd his way to a 68-62 Final Four victory over Michigan State.
But that was just the beginning.
Record: 33-5, 15-1 Big Ten (first place)
Key players: Cleaves, Peterson, Bell, A.J. Granger, Andre Hutson, Jason Klein