MSU takes on Louisville Thursday in NCAA playoffs

Michigan State is in the round of 16, as usual

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PHOENIX - Michigan State has advanced to the NCAA's round of 16 for the 10th time in 15 years, taking on Louisville Thursday.

Coach Izzo

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.

Mutual Respect

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.

More background

Read: Michigan State, Louisville prepare for game

Read: Michigan State's Appling made most of space to shoot

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