Feel the Bern: Some call him Tom Izzo, others call him Mr. March

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a call against Marquette in the second half of a second-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. Michigan State won 69-60. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Tom Izzo is the toast of the college basketball world, and the NCAA Tournament isn’t even at the halfway mark.

Izzo has guided his Michigan State team to the Sweet 16. That’s simply amazing because of what this team went through this season, and we’re not just talking about what happened on the court.

Last month, tragedy struck the Michigan State campus in East Lansing. An on-campus shooting left 3 students dead and others wounded in the hospital. This tragedy struck every individual associated with the school and the state of Michigan.

A couple of days after this, there was a candlelight vigil, and Tom Izzo spoke. He is without question the highest-profile individual at the school, but his words soothed a campus that was in desperate need of a hug. His words delivered that.

A moment like an on-campus shooting shows you just how inconsequential sports is. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a tragedy to make everyone understand how precious life is in comparison. You can be sure the players carried that pain with them for the rest of the season.

Tom Izzo is all about teaching. If he was a car salesman, he’d sell more cars than anyone, and he might even teach a class in how to do it. In a late-season loss to Iowa, the Spartans blew a 13-point lead in the final 93 seconds and lost to Hawkeyes in overtime.

Izzo didn’t lose his mind. Instead, he used this as a teaching moment. He’s referred to it several times in the tournament, and now he finds himself in the Sweet 16, in New York, at Madison Square Garden.

Class is in this Thursday at 6:30. As Tom Izzo would say...don’t be late.

About the Author:

Bernie brings sports to Metro Detroit. You can catch him on Local 4 News weekdays at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.