It’s been nearly 14 years since the last time Michigan State and Michigan were ranked at the same time and played each other. In fact, the last time it happen was Feb. 17, 1998 — the great Mateen Cleaves was only a sophomore.
Tonight, No. 9 Michigan State (15-3 overall, 4-1 Big Ten) heads to Ann Arbor to face Michigan (14-4, 4-2) in what is sure to be a heated game.
That’s an understatement, folks!
For the Spartans, they lost both games last season to the Wolverines, something that is fresh in the minds of each team.
“I never want to lose to Michigan,” Spartans forward Draymond Green said. “And when I leave here, I never want to see Michigan State lose to Michigan. That’s not going to change the rest of my life. This year is where it starts.”
For Tom Izzo, his feelings about Michigan are simple.
“Do I respect John Beilein? Tremendously. Do I respect their school? Tremendously,” Izzo said. “Do I like them? Not one bit.”
Michigan State is coming off a disappointing loss to Northwestern last week, while Michigan is also coming off a loss, a lopsided defeat against Iowa on the road.
But if MSU is going to end the two-game skid against Michigan, it’ll have to start with slowing Tim Hardaway Jr., who averages nearly 16 points per game. When Hardaway is on, so too are the Wolverines.
Tonight’s game will prove a lot to which ever team wins, but there is still a long way to go this season as the Big Ten Conference race is sure to be a knock-down, drag-out affair.
Michigan State at Michigan
- Time: 7 p.m.
- TV: ESPN
- Line: Spartans by 2 points