The Golden Age of Michigan State athletics continues as Tom Izzo achieved his 500th career win tonight over Boston College, by a resounding margin 99-68. As Tom Izzo further cemented his legacy, his star player had another career night. Denzel Valentine recorded his second career triple double as he finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. His 29 points matched a career-high.
The reigning Big Ten Player of the Week averaged 18.0 points, 11.5 assists and 9.5 rebounds per game in a pair of wins over #4 Kansas and Arkansas-Pine Bluff last week. Valentine’s 29 tonight matched his tally against the Jayhawks, to go along with his 12 rebounds and a career-best 12 assists against the Jayhawks.
On the night of the Champions Classic, Valentine became just the fourth player in Michigan State history to record a triple-double. MSU, now ranked #3 in the country won the opener of the Wooden Legacy Tournament in Fullerton, California.
Michigan State moves on to play Boise State in a tournament semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The Broncos beat UC-Irvine in the first quarterfinal game of the day.
With Tom Izzo’s program ranked so high, and Mark Dantonio’s football team ranked #5 in the latest college football playoff rankings, this indeed a golden age in Sparta. The football team is still alive for one of the final four spots in the college football playoff. They are the only Big Ten East team which controls their own destiny for the Big Ten Title game, which means they have the best playoff, and hence national title hopes of any team in the division.
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Congratulations to Tom Izzo and Denzel Valentine on their achievements! Good luck to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game and potentially in the playoffs.
Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes to the Chicago Tribune RedEye. He also appears regularly on numerous television and radio talk shows all across the country. Catch him Tuesdays on KOZN 1620 The Zone.