Tom Izzo's 2013-14 team went 29-9 and advanced to the Elite Eight. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo is ranked as the third-best coach in college basketball by ESPN.
ESPN.com has been counting down its rankings of its top 50 coaches – one per day – and on Wednesday revealed Izzo as No. 3.
Izzo, 59, has led the Spartans to six Final Fours and the NCAA championship in 2000. His overall record is 468-187 and his Big Ten mark is 221-101.
“Expecting Final Fours is silly, because getting to the Final Four is insanely hard,” ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan writes about Izzo for the countdown. “Here's the most impressive thing you can say about Izzo, then: In his 19 seasons in East Lansing, Izzo has made the whole thing look so rote that it's more surprising when his teams don't get to the Final Four than when they do.”
The top two coaches in ESPN’s countdown presumably are Florida’s Billy Donovan and Kentucky’s John Calipari. Michigan’s John Beilein was ranked No. 9.
More from Brennan on Izzo: “… (He has) consistently maintained Michigan State's status as one of the best and most successful basketball programs in the country. It's easy to forget how quickly Michigan State got good under Izzo: In just his third season, 1997-98, he won the Big Ten title. In his fourth, he went to the Final Four. In his fifth, Mateen Cleaves and Co. won the national title. The Spartans haven't missed the tournament since.”