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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bill Self, Tom Izzo go way back

Tom Izzo rips into an official during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at United Center in Chicago.

Tom Izzo rips into an official during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 at United Center in Chicago.

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Chicago — Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has known Michigan State’s Tom Izzo a long time, since Self’s days coaching Illinois of the Big Ten.

Self, in fact, left Tuesday’s game with a 5-7 mark against Izzo, 2-4 at KU, after the Spartans won, 79-73.

“When we went to the Big Ten (from Tulsa in 2000), that was when Michigan State went to three straight Final Fours. They won the national championship the year before we got there,” Self said. “We played them at Tulsa the year before that when Mateen (Cleaves) was a sophomore, went to the Final Four. The year we were in the Big Ten together, we tied for the championship, we were both one seeds, then we get beat in the Elite 8, then he advances he advances to go to the Final Four, to play the team that beat us, Arizona.

“Tom and I have known each other a while. He's a great guy, a great coach. His post-season success, with the exception of Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski), has almost been unmatched without question. He's terrific.  He always told me when I took the Illinois job that he thought I had one of the best jobs. He thought that was a job that had a chance to be great. He was right. It’s obviously a fantastic job.”

— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com’s live coverage


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Michigan State


By the Numbers: Michigan State 79, Kansas 73

By the Numbers: Michigan State 79, Kansas 73

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