March is loaded with excitement in the sports world for a number of reasons, but primarily because of the NCAA Tournament.
We are fortunate here in Michigan that both UM and MSU are in the Sweet 16. We can brag that the Wolverines were crowned outright champions and the Spartans claimed the Big Ten tournament title.
We can boast that Adreian Payne scored a Michigan State tournament- record 41 points in their opening game win over Delaware, and that Nik Stauskas was just named NABC first team All-American.
Instead of focusing on that, there are irresponsible members of the media who would rather go trolling and link Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo to the soon-to-be-vacant Detroit Pistons head coaching job.
They think because Pistons owner Tom Gores graduated from Michigan State, and Tom Izzo coaches there, that it's an automatic fit. They assume that Izzo has done everything he could in East Lansing so the next "logical" move is to the highest league.
They figure he wouldn't have to necessarily relocate. And because he's supposedly flirted with the NBA before, and the timing might be right here in 2014.
In reality, media is speculating. There is no proof or even an inclination that Izzo and/or the Pistons are interested.
Izzo told me this morning he's "never even met or talked to Tom Gores," and he's upset at the media reporting on this. He's right. How is this a story? Why should this warrant any attention?
Izzo should be talking about ways to solve Virginia's aggressive defense or how they will defend the Cavaliers sharp-shooting wing-man Joe Harris. Instead, because of the media "stirring the pot," Izzo and his players and administrators will be asked questions about him leaving. It's not right. These kids should be allowed to focus only on the trip to New York and their opponents: Virginia and either Iowa State or UConn.
Izzo should be granted the chance to concentrate on game-planning for those teams. Athletic Director Mark Hollis should be given the freedom to enjoy the trip to Madison Square Garden and watch his club make a run, being that he missed the second and third round games in Spokane because he was representing the NCAA Selection Committee in Milwaukee.
But most importantly, MSU fans should get the comfort of enjoying basketball, rather than asking each other questions "if this is the last game for Izzo...." or "what happens if we...."
You know damn well that if MSU falls, some will say he's been thinking too much about the NBA or that his flirtation with the Pistons gig was a distraction. It's reprehensible because Izzo can't win. If he says "never say never," then fans wonder if the rumor is true. But if he contradicts the speculation, then the media calls him sensitive and refers back to his name being linked to the Cavaliers and Hawks openings.
This shouldn't have anything to do with the MSU push to Dallas. This is created by the media, and shame on any of us who add to the speculation.
It is stuff like this that makes people dislike the media so much, and I can't blame them either.
Matt Shepard is the play-by-play voice of University of Michigan basketball, Eastern Michigan University football and the Detroit Lions television network. He can also be found on TV locally on Fox Sports Detroit and nationally on the Big Ten Network for college hockey and baseball.Learn more.