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.
View a gallery of images from Tuesday night's Champions Classic game between the Jayhawks and Spartans at United Center in Chicago.
“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