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The Math Behind Izzo’s Amazing Run


Since this could very well be the last time I have a chance this year before the Final Four takes place — and who knows what will happen there — I’m going to come clean: I’m a little gay for Tom Izzo.

Attending Michigan State University during the Mateen Cleeves days, when they were seemingly in the Final Four every year, certainly doesn’t hurt my opinion of him. (There’s a crazy stat that’s always thrown out this time of year: Every four-year basketball player under Tom Izzo has been to a Final Four. We’re just going to have to take popular wisdom’s word for it; there’s no way I’m going to do research to make sure it’s accurate.) But the thing that gets me is the suaveness of the man. As Salt-n-Pepa so aptly said, “What a man. What a man. What a mighty good man.” I mean, just look at him:


Pure. Unadulterated. Stud.

That’s him back in his glory days with best friend (and former coach of the San Francisco 49ers) Steve Mariucci. In any case, this is really just an excuse to alert everyone to the crazy math performed by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver regarding Izzo’s incredible coaching career. If you’re one of those math nerds — or even betting nerds, I guess — you may enjoy the incredible tournament stats that Izzo has put up during his career. If you’re not into math at all, well, then let’s just forget this ever happened.

About Rick Mosely

Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.

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