2. Best Michigan State basketball seasons:1999-2000
It was obvious to any true Spartans’ fan that their two title-winners would be atop the list. Let’s start out with a look at Tom Izzo’s championship squad from the 1999-2000 season.
As we discussed earlier, the nucleus of that team was heavily experienced following a trip to the Final Four the year prior. With Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson leading the way as seniors the sky was truly the limit for the Spartans in 2000.
The regular season was a bit more of a struggle for the Spartans, who went just 23-7, including a bizarre non-conference loss to Wright State. Despite their issues, Michigan State found a way to win the Big Ten’s regular-season title and conference tournament, earning themselves a top seed in March Madness for the second straight year.
The regional rounds were no trouble for the Spartans, which breezed by Valparaiso, Utah, Syracuse and Iowa State to reach their second consecutive Final Four. The big difference for Michigan State was that upsets knocked out a lot of top seeds like Duke and UConn, leaving the Spartans as the only no. 1 seed in Indianapolis.
The path certainly helped Michigan State, which knocked off Big Ten rival Wisconsin and Florida to claim their second national championship. Cleaves starred in the dance, taking home the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honors in the process.