Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo Moved into Some Pretty Elite Company

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 29, 2010 | Go to article overview

Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo Moved into Some Pretty Elite Company


Byline: Jim O'Connell AP Basketball Writer

Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo moved into some pretty elite company.

Duke's Coach K will take a team to the Final Four for the 11th time, moving him into a tie with Dean Smith of North Carolina for second place on the all-time list, one behind UCLA's John Wooden.

Krzyzewski's first Final Four was in 1986 and his most recent was in 2004.

Michigan State's Izzo moved into a four-way tie for fourth-most appearances with Denny Crum of Louisville, Adolph Rupp of Kentucky and Roy Williams of Kansas and North Carolina.

"It's incredible, the consistency and obviously the expectation," Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said of Izzo, who has made all his appearances since 1999.

"You know, I thought that -- the accomplishment certainly speaks for itself. And to do it with numbers of different teams. And it's obviously a great accomplishment."

Double nickel: This will be the first Final Four with two No. 5 seeds in it, and they will meet in one of the semifinals.

Michigan State, the No. 5 seed in the Midwest tegional, and Butler, which held the same position in the West, will play Saturday.

Five other No. 5 seeds have reached the Final Four since seeding began in 1979: Iowa in 1980; Mississippi State in 1996; Florida in 2000; Indiana in 2002; and Michigan State in 2005. None went on to win the national championship.

Michigan State is making its eighth Final Four appearance and Butler its first, but they do have one thing in common: The Spartans played in the Final Four in their home state last year in Detroit, while the Bulldogs will be the first team to play in a Final Four in its home city since UCLA in 1972. …

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