LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kent State coach Stan Heath cherishes every moment he spent and every nugget of knowledge he absorbed from Michigan State's Tom Izzo.
So it meant the world to him that his former boss, with whom he won the 2000 national championship, was able to attend his team's emotional 78-73 overtime victory over Pittsburgh in the South Regional semifinals Thursday night.
"Coach Izzo came in our locker room after the game," said a jubilant Heath, in his first season at Kent State after spending the last five years with the Spartans. "He was really happy for our team, and he was really happy for me.
"I miss the experiences I had there, but I was glad he could be part of the experiences we're having now."
Those experiences now include a trip to the NCAA tournament's round of eight -- uncharted territory for the 10th-seeded Golden Flashes (30-5) or any other Mid-American Conference team.
"This is definitely a validation of our place in history," said Kent State senior Trevor Huffman, who scored 17 points as the Golden Flashes extended the nation's longest winning streak to 21 games. "Coach challenged us before the game, telling us no MAC team had ever done this."
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