Michigan State coach Tom Izzo didn’t try to hide his frustrations at Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Michigan State coach Tom Izzo exchanged words with a fan in the moments after the Spartans lost at Ohio State on Sunday.
It’s unclear what was said, but Michigan State staffers stepped in front of Izzo and detoured him away from the confrontation with a female fan.
"She was kind of a jerk," Izzo said during his postgame press conference.
When a couple of reporters started to chuckle, Izzo said, "You want the truth or you want me to lie? Well."
It appeared that the fan came from the section behind the basket down towards the northeast corner of the floor, where Michigan State was exiting on its way to the visitor’s locker room.
Izzo didn’t hide his frustration a few minutes later in his press conference. Presented with the notion that the game was a typical Ohio State-Michigan State slugfest, Izzo said, "We didn’t do much slugging."
Ohio State scored nine of the game’s final 13 points, rallying for a 69-67 victory. The Buckeyes outscored Michigan State in the paint, 34-20, and 21-12 off of turnovers.
"Rebounding and fouls were very one-sided for Ohio State," Izzo said.
Michigan State was whistled for 22 fouls to Ohio State’s 12. The rebounding edge went to the Spartans, 31-30.
Izzo seemed especially frustrated by his team’s lack of toughness.
"If any of you Ohio guys think we’re the old smashmouth Michigan State team, you’re kidding yourself," he said. "We aren’t that team. We haven’t been that team. Maybe (Brandon) Dawson and (Adreian) Payne are that, but Dawson spent his whole day on the bench (with foul trouble).
"We’re a little wimpier than we used to be."
Asked if this was the most frustrated he’s been after a game this season, Izzo said, "Yes, yes, yes. By far."
The Spartans (23-8, 12-6) will be the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten tournament and will open postseason play Friday in Indianapolis.
Tom Izzo just had to be pulled away from an OSU fan taunting him. He didn't lunge, but there were words and he was yanked away.
— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) March 9, 2014