VIDEO: Tom Izzo wells up while honoring retiring ref Ed Hightower

Tom Izzo took the mic Tuesday night toward the end of his team's easy 78-48 victory over North Florida.


Ed Hightower. The well-known ref who's been a frequent target for Big Ten fans over the past three decades is retiring at the end of the year. Tuesday's game at the Breslin Center was scheduled to be Hightower's last work on the whistle at Michigan State. Izzo wanted to let the crowd know this and to give his thanks. You can see Izzo affected by his emotion's after giving the speech, too.

In addition to being a college basketball zebra for 36 years, Hightower's also been a principal and worked in school administsration, a reminder that so many of the guys in black and white lead real lives and have impact outside of basketball.

"If I had a son I'd want him to go to his school," Izzo said.

Thus concludes Tom Izzo is the Best, Chapter 713.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his seventh season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics and... Full Bio

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