Tom Izzo: 'I got bigger goals than just beating Duke' | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / June 24.
  • Tom Izzo: ‘I got bigger goals than just beating Duke’

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    WASHINGTON — Tom Izzo is all too aware that he is 1-11 against Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski in his career.

    That includes a 1-3 record in the NCAA Tournament, most recently in the 2015 Final Four.

    Now he will get a chance at just his second career win when the two Hall of Famers coach against each other on Sunday with a spot in the Final Four on the line.

    “Everybody has a standard you want to get to,” Izzo said here Saturday on the eve of No. Michigan State’s Elite Eight matchup with No. 1 Duke in the Eat Region. “And when players say you’re never satisfied, why would you be satisfied? Unless it’s time to hang up the whistle. Why would you be there? What he motivates me to do is there’s always another challenge.”

    Coach K has five NCAA championships and Izzo has one, and that came in 2000, the last time a Big Ten team won the whole thing.

    Asked if Coach K was his “great white whale,” Izzo said: “I’ve got bigger goals than just beating Duke. I’d like to get back to another Final Four. I’d like to win another national championship. I’d like to get our program in a position where, whenever I’m done the basement’s built so strong that it will go forever. I’m on boards still. I want to do what’s right for college basketball. I’ve got a lot of goals.”

    Still, he admitted he would like to ” change that 1-11 record.

    “Hell, not many guys outside of their league are playing them 11 times,” he said. “I figure that we’ve played them a lot. Played them down there a lot. Played them in different events and we’ve knocked on the door. It hasn’t opened yet. One of these days it’s going to open.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.