MINNEAPOLIS – Nobody can find Tom Izzo's backpack. Several Michigan state employees searched the locker room and the various interconnected rooms. Izzo held court with reporters, but he eventually stopped talking – maybe? – At this point he had to leave the US Bank Stadium for good. But not without his bag.
Izzo had just trained in his eighth national semi-final and lost for the sixth time. So he knew what to expect as soon as the last buzzer sounded at 22:07. CT.
When the winning head coach – this time Chris Beard of Texas Tech ̵
Just outside the door were those who were in any way affiliated with Texas Tech, whose men's basketball program first appeared. Final Four celebrated the 61-51 victory.
"This is not a dream!" One person said.
On the podium, Moderator Beard dismissed: "Coach, see you tomorrow."
Izzo and his players took his place.
"Very rarely in my career have we exaggerated a style," Izzo said. "And tonight was one of those nights."
At 10:46, McQuaid took on the back bank of an EZ-GO A media worker talked most of the time in the 100-meter drive, smiled and patted McQuaid on the back, McQuaid, a senior who had just played his last game in the state of Michigan, stared blankly
Izzo went on to ask questions on the podium and said he could see early on that the state of Michigan was in trouble and was lucky to be down at only two at half-time, talking about the drought the Big Tens and the unbelievable shooting of Matt Mooney.
He put the game down to the simplest terms: "You made some pieces. We did not play games. We've missed some shots. "
Back in the dressing room in the state of Michigan, players were subdued, but not grumpy, with few tears, if any, of the players having mastered the defeat, credited Texas Tech, and all questions answered: Long-standing colleague Doug Herner issued hugs.
Freshman Gabe Brown opened a prepared meal and ignored broccoli and rice to take a bite out of a burrito just to question the election He was annoyed at a particular defensive game in which Brown almost seemed to have rolled his ankle.Walk-ons, without distracting the reporters' questions, flipped through their phones.
Izzo appeared and asked no one, "Where am I going?" Before he was led to a BTN interview in a gap between the stadium corridor and the stadium. "We have every inch "I had a damn time this year."
The players left the locker room with sneakers in their hands and commemorative posters sticking out of their backpacks. Most had security tags on their bags for several days, different colors for different days. They had hoped to add two more to the collection, but Texas Tech and Virginia acquired this right.
Izzo appeared at 11.13 and took his place on a wall, a semicircle of reporters in front of him. Steve Mariucci, Izzo's good friend from childhood in Iron Mountain on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, appeared.
"Is that Izzo?" he asked, without being able to see the coach in the middle of the crowd.
He wore a green, zip-fastened sweatshirt from the state of Michigan and talked about every team except this team being disappointed. He was in Chicago when these Spartans won the Big Ten Tournament. He did not go to Des Moines, Iowa, for the first two NCAA tournament wins, or Washington, D.C. He wanted to, but last weekend a nephew married.
"Who marries in March?" he said.
Izzo continued talking. "Boy, is he patient," said a security guard.
"Anything else, boys?", A member of the media department asked, hoping that the answer would be no. But the questions kept coming and Izzo was, as always, content to answer them.
After nearly 19 minutes of conversation outside the locker room and nearly 40 consecutive minutes of answering questions – 85 minutes after the end of the game – he was done it.
When team personnel were still searching for his bag, Izzo discovered Mariucci lifting his right arm. He had Izzo's backpack all the time.
"I'll be your caddy," joked Mariucci as they walked down the hall toward the team bus and left the Final Four earlier than they had hoped.
It was a walk, Izzo knew only too well.