Tom Izzo is not only one of the best coaches in the history of this game, he is also one of the classiest head coaches out there.
Here is the matchup. UCLA is a 7 seed. This is pretty generous after our showing in the tournament. Bruins are going to take on Tom Izzo's Michigan State programs. That game time is set for 6:20 pm PST (TBS). The Spartans just like the Bruins have had an inconsistent and tough season but have closed it on a strong note by making a mini run in the Big-10 tournament, which included a trashing of Purdue Boilermakers (a 3 seed). More on the Spartans at The Only Colors.
We do share one common opponent this year. MSU had beaten UDub in Hawaii during pre-season by a score of 76-71. That was way back then. Our bracket is full of possible interesting story lines with Pitt, St. Johns and Florida lurking in the background. None of that will matter if Bruins do not take care of business in first round. Full printable bracket here.
Bruins have had a tough season. They met bare minimum expectations, notched 2 to 3 complete game performances against good teams but blew few winnable games. They can take the sting off this underachieving season if they can beat a well coached Spartans team in the first round.
It will not take the pressure off Howland but a small run in the Dance will give this program badly needed momentum heading into a make or break year next season.
Tournament times have not been announced yet. When they become available we will share it here.
What are your initial reactions? Share your thoughts in this thread.
UPDATE (A): BRO bits:
In fact, between the Bruins and Spartans, the last six Final Fours have had either UCLA or Michigan State, with the Spartans going in 2005, UCLA in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and Michigan State in 2009 and 2010. snip
The last time the Bruins and Spartans met was during the 2007-2008 season, when a Darren Collison-less Bruin squad topped the Spartans, 68-63 in the CBE Classic Finals in Kansas City.
Here is the link.
Update II (A): Game time is set:
Update III (A): Looks like it is indeed 6:20 pm EST according to CBS. We are all set for TBS. Thanks to all the BNers digging the links up in the comment threads.