Sidelines with John Clay

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo rips ESPN’s Dan Dakich over tweets

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, right, talks with Miles Bridges during the second half of the Spartans’ 74-66 win over Ohio State on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, right, talks with Miles Bridges during the second half of the Spartans’ 74-66 win over Ohio State on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich. Associated Press

Kentucky fans have had their run-ins with Dan Dakich, the ESPN college basketball analyst and Indianapolis sports talk show host who has made a career of trolling.

Tuesday night, however, Dakich got under Tom Izzo’s skin.

After Michigan State’s 74-66 win over visiting Ohio State on Tuesday, the Spartans’ head coach used the first part of his news conference to address what Dakich had tweeted and said after Michigan’s 86-57 win over Michigan State last week. Dakich’s son, Andrew, is redshirting this season for the Wolverines.

In going back and forth with Michigan State fans, Dakich tweeted that MSU fans were whiners and that some went to school in East Lansing because they couldn’t get into Michigan.

Dakich worked both the Michigan State-Michigan and Michigan State-Ohio State games. Students in the “Izzone” chanted “We hate Dakich” during the latter game.

“Danny owes our fans and our students an apology,” Izzo said in his news conference. “I would have loved to get in that Izzone and join those chants.”

Of course, this is part of Dakich’s shtick. He’s a provocateur. Haters gonna hate is his typical reply.

It does bring up the question of why ESPN allows Dakich to work Michigan games when his son is a Wolverine.

In 2014, when Kentucky beat Michigan in the finals of the Midwest Region in Indianapolis, Dakich sat in a media seat behind press row while his son was a freshman with the Wolverines. He made loud comments throughout the game, all but cheering for Michigan, and got into an argument with former Danville Advocate Messenger sportswriter and current WLEX-TV contributor Larry Vaught.

Big 10 basketball standings

Team

Big 10

Overall

Wisconsin

10-2

21-4

Purdue

10-3

21-5

Maryland

9-3

21-4

Northwestern

8-4

19-6

Michigan State

8-5

16-10

Minnesota

6-6

18-7

Michigan

6-6

16-9

Iowa

6-7

14-12

Penn State

6-8

14-13

Indiana

5-8

15-11

Nebraska

5-8

11-14

Ohio State

5-9

15-12

Illinois

4-9

14-12

Rutgers

2-12

13-14

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