Tom Izzo remarks that Rick Barnes was undervalued during his time at Texas, ahead of their March Madness game.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Tom Izzo expressed his thoughts on Friday regarding the irony of Tennessee basketball, led by coach Rick Barnes, facing Texas for a Sweet 16 berth. He then reflected on Barnes’ tenure at his former program.

“I thought he did an outstanding job there and perhaps was not fully recognized for his contributions, in my opinion,” remarked Izzo.

Barnes served as the head coach at Texas from the 1998-99 season until the 2014-15 season, accumulating a record of 402-180. During his time there, he secured three Big 12 regular-season titles and guided the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament on 16 occasions. Notably, he led Texas to the Final Four in 2003. Despite his successes, Barnes was let go in 2015, only to be swiftly hired by Tennessee.

The No. 2 Vols (25-8) are set to face the No. 7 Longhorns (21-12) on Saturday at Spectrum Center for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16 in the Midwest Regional in Detroit. Meanwhile, Michigan State will also be in Charlotte, squaring off against North Carolina in the West Regional on the same day.

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