Selection Sunday Is Here - And Izzo's System Is Ready

Selection Sunday Is Here - And Izzo's System Is Ready

Crowley Sullivan

Selection Sunday Is Here - And Izzo's System Is Ready

Tom Izzo has his proven Tournament system in place and is ready to implement it.

Contact @crowleysullivan

In a matter of hours, Tom Izzo and his program will finally know the path needed to fight through to reach the goal that was set back when Miles Bridges announced he’d be staying in East Lansing for another year.

A 29-4 record combined with a regular season Big Ten Championship led to another banner being raised in the crowded rafters of the Breslin Center.  Bridges has left a legacy that will forever be celebrated.  And, perhaps more important than anything else, he’s a terrific kid and a sensational Spartan.

But it’s time for everyone to ratchet it all up a few notches today.

The Selection Committee will be handing Michigan State a pretty fair #3 seed when the brackets are announced.  We can quibble about the seeding but I think most Spartans – if they’re being honest – see that a #3 wouldn’t be all that off base.

And despite the challenging circumstances of the entire season, today opens up the door to a whole new life for a team that feels like it could use it.

One of the under-examined elements of Izzo’s March blueprint is the system he’s created and adhered to with razor sharp discipline with each weekend’s “mini tournament” within the Tournament.

Izzo has long since identified each weekend as its own tournament that calls for the right mindset, the right scouting breakdowns, the right walkthroughs, the right approach to dealing with all of the logistical dynamics related to tickets and meals and bus rides and film sessions and family members and friends that all require attention.

Izzo has somehow figured out how to manage all of that in ways that allow the team to properly prepare and focus on the opponent at hand.

It’s Izzo’s experience and this system he’s created that gives his team an advantage over probably 90% of the teams that head into March Madness with bright eyes and fiery enthusiasm but don’t know how to navigate their way through the unavoidable components that sometimes can make a personnel advantage in a ball game less effective.

Aside from the seed that Michigan State will ultimately get later today, it’ll be important to be able to take a good look at the tipoff times and the locations of the games along the Spartans’ road to a possible San Antonio prize.

For Izzo’s Tournament system, every hour, every half hour, and even every minute counts in all parts of the preparation process.  A battle with a similarly-seeded team that presents personnel matchup problems for State becomes more manageable if Izzo has three or four more hours to break everything down with his assistants and embed the requirements into his players.

But for all of the genius that Izzo applies within his Tournament system, he, like any other coach, has the best chance to cut down that final net when he has the best collection of players who have a chemistry and a belief in Izzo’s system.

This collection of Spartans might be his best from the top of the roster all the way down the bottom ever since the team that cut down the net in Indianapolis 18 years ago.

The loss to UMAA in the Big Ten Tournament seems like a lifetime ago right now.

That’s a good thing.

Spring has sprung and Izzo’s day is here.

The singular goal this team has had is in sights.

The entire program knows what’s at stake.

It’s time to make the magic happen.

Michigan State’s leader is ready and focused – and he’s probably more rested than he’s ever been on Selection Sunday.

There won’t be anything easy about getting this done.

But I wouldn’t count Izzo out and nobody should be surprised if more room needs to be made in those crowded rafters of the Breslin Center back in the comforts of our beloved East Lansing.

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