PHOENIX (AP) - Michigan State's Tom Izzo has been one of college
basketball's best coaches with a short turnaround, leading the
Spartans to the Final Four six times in his 17 seasons.
Louisville's Rick Pitino is no slouch, becoming the first coach
to lead three different teams to the Final Four.
These two great basketball minds with a mutual respect for each
other meet Thursday in the West Regional semifinals, the second
time in three years they've faced off in the NCAA tournament.
In 2009, Izzo's Spartans shrugged off Louisville's press and
beat the Cardinals 64-52 to earn a spot in the Final Four in
Detroit. Michigan State forward Draymond Green is the only player
from either team who had significant playing time in that game.