50 in 50 series: No. 11 Michigan State

August, 23, 2012
8/23/12
11:30
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Editor's note: Using a point system devised by the ESPN Stats & Information department, ESPN.com is counting down the 50 most successful programs of the past 50 years. A running list of the top 50 can be found here. For an explanation of the scoring system, read our intro.

11. Michigan State (369 points)

Positives: Won two national titles; also made five other Final Fours; current streak of 15 NCAA tournament appearances; 10 consensus All-Americans; seven conference titles in the past 15 seasons

Negatives: Five losing seasons in the 1980s; didn't make the NCAA tournament in the first 15 years of the study; just three regular-season conference titles from 1963 to '89

Fun fact: Michigan State has the sixth-most points nationally since Tom Izzo took over as coach in 1995.

Rank by the decade
1962-69: -1 (T-226th)
1970-79: 64 (T-18th)
1980-89: 3 (T-141st)
1990-99: 99 (12th)
2000-present: 204 (5th)

SportsNation

Which is Michigan State's best team of the past 50 years?

  •  
    55%
  •  
    40%
  •  
    5%

Discuss (Total votes: 14,478)

50 in 50 Starting Five (1962-present)
G – Earvin "Magic" Johnson (1977-79)
G – Shawn Respert (1990-95)
F – Steve Smith (1987-91)
F – Draymond Green (2008-12)
F – Greg Kelser (1975-79)

Top options off the bench
Scott Skiles (1982-86)
Mateen Cleaves (1996-2000)
Morris Peterson (1996-2000)

50 in 50 coach: Tom Izzo

Best teams (1962-present)
1978-79 (26-6, NCAA national champion)
1999-2000 (32-7, NCAA national champion)
2008-09 (31-7, NCAA runner-up)

-- Harold Shelton and Brett Edgerton contributed to this post.

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