Skip to main content

Tom Izzo Reacts To The Officiating At The Big Ten Tournament

A closeup of Michigan State Spartans coach Tom Izzo

DETROIT, MI - MARCH 16: Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts during the first half against the Bucknell Bison in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Little Caesars Arena on March 16, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Michigan State basketball ended its regular season on a high note, likely playing its way back into the NCAA Tournament field with a 5-2 finish to the year, including wins over No. 3 Illinois, No. 9 Ohio State, and in the finale, No. 4 Michigan.

The Spartans are lucky they made up that ground in February and early March, because they weren't long for the Big Ten Tournament. They went down in today's second-round game, as the nine-seed against eighth-seeded Maryland, 68-57.

Head coach Tom Izzo was visibly frustrated with the officials during the game. He was hit with a technical after a few calls against his team in the first-half, and ripped the refs during a halftime interview on Big Ten Network.

His dissatisfaction with how the game was called continued into the post-game press conference. He says that the calls ruined his team's offensive flow, but admits that he needs to keep his cool during games.

Leagues don't always look kindly on coaches or others being this outwardly critical of referees during and after games. We'll see if the Big Ten has anything to say about Tom Izzo's outbursts here.

There was a bit of a foul disparity in the game, with Maryland attempting 28 free throws to Michigan State's 18. Of course, the Spartans didn't take advantage of those opportunities either, hitting just nine of their shots from the line.

ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi updated his bracket this afternoon, and has Michigan State holding firm as the top team in the "last four byes" category, saying that the Spartans "should not be in danger" come Selection Sunday. Even so, at 15-12 with a 9-11 Big Ten record, this has been an underwhelming season for Tom Izzo's squad.