After the game, though, the hard-driving coach said the exchange was something that happens all the time — including with 2000 national championship teammates and close friends Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson — without cameras rolling.
"Some things happen in public, some things happen in private," Izzo said.
The Spartans forced Memphis into a half-court game, and it struggled against their in-your-face defense.
Michigan State limited the Tigers to sub-30-percent shooting and outrebounded them by 20, a part of the game Pastner was worried about for good reason. The Spartans turned 14 offensive rebounds into 22 second-chance points.
"They just killed us on the boards," Jackson said. "Every time that we had a chance to cut the lead, they got an offensive rebound and they scored."
Izzo has built his program on defense and rebounding, and it has served him very well. Michigan State is two wins away from its seventh Final Four under Izzo.
The Spartans and rival Michigan, which routed VCU earlier in the day in the same sold-out arena near their campuses, are in the same round of 16 for the first time.
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