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Tuesday, July 7, 2015


(originally published on 2-2-15)

People just can't seem to make up their minds. Who is better, Tom Izzo or John Beilien? Each coach has his own fans and defenders.

Upon further review, it appears as if John Beilein has at least one distinct statistical advantage over Tom Izzo, as we compare career credentials. In this key category, Beilein leads Izzo by a score of 5-2.

The category is career appearances in the National Invitational Tournament. Coach Beilein has five dance cards stamped "N.I.T." from his various and sundry coaching jobs over the last several decades. Tom Izzo has only been to the NIT twice. So that's a big lead for Beilein.

Beilein has coached those five teams to a record of 16-9, for a winning percentage of .640. Izzo's two-team NIT career included only three games total, at 1-2. So this category isn't even close, not by any stretch of the imagination. (Izzo has a better record in the NCAAs, but those scores don't count as NIT games.)

So maybe Beilein is worthy of all the media-sparked adulation, after all. Perhaps I jumped too quickly in claiming that media coverage of Sunday's game makes it almost seem like Michigan actually won the game. This Beilein guy may be the real deal.

One other interesting note that I learned when looking over Beilein's career records, as there is yet another statistical category in which he holds a huge lead over Izzo:

John Beilein has finished 16 seasons as Head Coach
without his team advancing to post-season play.

Tom Izzo has advanced to the post-season
in every season as Head Coach of MSU.

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