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Michael Conroy, Associated Press
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo talks to Michigan State forward Draymond Green (23) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa in the second round of the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Friday, March 9, 2012.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says he's paranoid about people thinking he became satisfied and stopped working hard.

So, Izzo relentlessly aims to make — or keep — his program among the elite in college basketball.

Izzo squeezed in a recruiting flight during a five-games-in-13-days stretch last month, and often went to his office instead of home in the hours after a game to prepare for the next challenge.

His tireless efforts have been rewarded this season.

The Spartans started the season unranked and had enough success to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Izzo's march to perhaps a seventh Final Four starts against 16th-seeded Long Island University-Brooklyn on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.