Given Tom Izzo as the Michigan State Spartans head coach has 22 straight years in the NCAA tournament and 52 wins in that time frame, there are a lot of games to look back at over his career. So I decided we could all use a fun debate over what his best win each day of the tournament was through each round. For the previous game recaps in this series, you can find the full list here.
After finishing the list, I left it to all of you the readers to weigh in on which games you thought amounted to his best wins based on both my picks, and based on your own choices of the overall field options. Now that you all have voted, here are the results.
By a 20-32 margin, voters chose the 2015 70-63 win over the Georgia Bulldogs got the reader vote out of my series.
No surprise as well that this round offered the greatest variety in reader votes when offered the complete resume to vote on. The winner (45 percent of the vote in fact) hands down surprised me as frankly that 2017 win was un-noteworthy in my own personal memory even when considering the struggles of the mostly freshman roster that season. In fact, to be blunt, one of the most uninteresting options won this vote in my opinion really.
The winner of the reader vote for my series by a 43-12 vote margin was the 68-46 win in 2003 over the Florida Gators.
As for the whole resume vote, it is not that surprising that 45 percent of the vote went to the 2010 Korie Luscious buzzer beating three point shot over the Maryland Terrapins.
This one surprised me a bit in the results as my choice for the 2014 win over the Virginia Cavaliers was mostly based on personal bias. Even given the lack of alternative options in my series for the Thursday game, the 40-19 margin preferring the 2014 win to the 2000 win over the Syracuse Orange in the results was a bit unexpected.
As for the entire resume, the winner for this vote was what added to my surprise as it was the same as my own choice with 54 percent of the vote. As for the other choices, I am going to call some of you out to the woodshed here. I was at the LSU game last season in person. We blew them out, it was an un-noteworthy game that will be rarely remembered by anyone out there beyond footnote status even not looking ahead a round that year, and even considering the cheating scandal they were embroiled in I cannot possibly comprehend how 9 percent of you managed to select that game as your pick over 2015 Oklahoma or 2005 Maryland.
Recency bias mattered in this one I think. As for my series, my own pick of the double-overtime 2005 win over the Kentucky Wildcats won the reader vote 43-18 over the 2000 win over the Iowa State Cyclones.
As for the entire resume, last year’s win over the Duke Blue Devils won with 54 percent of the vote, while the 2005 Kentucky win managed just 36 percent. While I was also at the Duke win and it was phenomenal, I think anyone who actually remembers the 2005 win would have resulted in a more competitive result when remembering the insanity of how it ended.
Seven of you actually voted for that 2000 abomination over the Wisconsin Badgers. What is wrong with you? I hate Wisconsin as much as the next person, but come on people! The 2009 89-72 win over the UConn Huskies is not even in the same zip code, and it did win 7-53 margin wise overall in the TOC posting poll.
Of course, 100 percent of you actually agreed with me when voting on the overall resume survey as you can see below. Those voters are smart. Consider yourself shamed for your hatred of Flopsconsin (were they actually that prior to Bo Ryan, aka THE GRINCH?) edging your vote in this one anyone who was part of that seven.
This part of the series obviously did not have any real options to offer if purely from the Tom Izzo era (even expanded to assistant coach time-frame). Even so 24 of you picked the 2000 title win as the best national championship by the Michigan State Spartans. Comparatively 19 of you chose the 1979 title, and 14 of you chose the imaginary simulation by FiveThiryEight that resulted in the title being won MSU over Kansas.
Otherwise, 81 percent of you chose the win over Florida in 2000 as the best win overall when just looking at real title banners.
Not a part of my series, but one that I asked on the separate survey I offered readers is the worst loss of the 21 appearances that ended with a loss at some point in the tournament. I was not surprised by the result, though I have to admit I am surprised by the lack of variety in choices. The fact not a single one of you chose options such as the loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, any of the losses to the Duke Blue Devils, the 2014 loss to the UConn Huskies, any of the first round losses, or a really just any variety of the far too many options was surprising. I get why, and voted the same honestly, for which game won, but I was surprised by the lack of variety is all.
Yes, the 2016 first round loss to you know who won the vote. We will not dwell on anything further than that and laugh at one seed Virginia instead.