Michigan State is a hard out in the NCAA basketball tournament, and Tom Izzo has made a career of pushing the Spartans through even when people think they won’t advance. But this year, Izzo has some extra convincing to do, because that crowd of doubters now includes his son.
Steven Izzo has picked Duke to beat Michigan State on Friday night, the elder Izzo told ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. The youngster has also picked Louisville to win the region and Miami to win the national championship — and what may be more surprising than the 13-year-old picking so many other, non-Michigan State teams is the amount of outlets asking him for his bracket choices.
Coach Izzo is none too pleased.
“I said, ‘Steven, what are you doing?'” Izzo said on Mike and Mike. “He says, ‘Well, Dad, I’m just not sure on this game.’ I said, ‘You know what, son? You’ve got to pick with your head, not your heart.’ The [dang] kid picked Duke!'”
Friday night’s matchup is not only a battle of college basketball heavyweights but also another showdown between Izzo and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, two of the best in the game. Steven has apparently taken notice of that, too.
“My son’s problem is whether he ever eats at my house,” Izzo said. “He’s a big fan of Coach K’s, so I’ve got real problems.”
Steven Izzo’s middle name is Mateen — after former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves — but, no matter the amount of parental influence, that appears to be where his Spartan loyalty has stopped.