Examining the past few decades of college basketball, you will be hard-pressed to find a more successful program than Michigan State. Whether it is producing NBA player, establishing coaching legends, or making deep NCAA Tournament runs, Michigan State has done it all.
Michigan State’s history of success began when Jud Heathcote became head coach in 1976. In 1978, the Spartans made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1959 and advanced all the way to the Elite Eight. In 1979, the Spartans returned to the NCAA Tournament, led by future basketball legend Magic Johnson. The 1979 Spartans went on to win the NCAA Tournament by beating the Larry Bird led Indiana State Sycamores by a score of 75-64 in the championship game.
After Jed Heathcote stepped down as head coach in 1995, Tom Izzo took over. Under Tom Izzo, the Spartans have made 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances dating back to 1998. Tom Izzo has led the Spartans to 8 Elite Eight appearances, 6 Final Four appearances, and a championship in 2000 when Michigan State beat the Florida Gators by a score of 89-76 in the championship game.