When the NCAA Final Four convenes next April in Atlanta, Michigan State will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the championship claimed by Mateen, MoPete and the Spartans' coach, Tom Izzo.
He wasn’t exactly a kid then. Izzo had served a long apprenticeship before ascending to the position of head coach, but it was only his fifth season in that job. It was his second consecutive Final Four. Indiana was nearing the end of its Bob Knight era, and Michigan was entering its post-Fab Five miasma. A new Midwestern basketball dynasty seemed possible, perhaps even likely.