The Michigan–Michigan State basketball competition is a college basketball competition between Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball and Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball that is part of their larger intrastate rivalry involving the University of Michigan and Michigan State University that exists across a wide spectrum of jobs including their general athletic applications: Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans. On the field, the athletic rivalry includes the Paul Bunyan Trophy and the Michigan–Michigan State ice hockey rivalry, but extends to almost all sports and several different forms of accomplishment. Both teams are members of the Big Ten Conference. The competition was evidenced both on the court and off the court. Among the off the court elements of the rivalry, recruitment of basketball ability has resulted in battles, the most notable of which turned to the University of Michigan basketball scandal, the analysis of which started when both schools sought the services of Mateen Cleaves.
Michigan currently leads the series, which started on January 9, 1909. As a consequence of this Big Ten moving to 11 teams with the addition of Penn State, teams weren’t guaranteed two games against each other. Accordingly, the colleges opted to play one game that didn’t count as a convention game in 1997. Whenever the Big Ten went into a 20-game conference program in 2018–19, the conference declared that the teams would always play each other two in each season.
A 1996 rollover injury during Michigan’s recruitment of Mateen Cleaves resulted in some long investigation surrounding the University of Michigan basketball scandal. Cleaves eventually matriculated in Michigan State.
Regardless of the intense rivalry for basketball recruits and resources along with the intensity of the competition in different sports, the rivalry had not been intense (as measured by rankings) on the basketball court until the 2010s when the teams met seven days in a row as ranked opponents.
On February 12, 2013, for the very first time in the series’ 170-game history, dating back to 1909, the teams met while both were rated in the Top 10. The Spartans (20–4, 9–2 Big Ten) were rated No. 8 in both the AP Top 25 Poll and USA Today Coaches Poll, while the Wolverines (21–3, 8–3 Big Ten) came in ranked No. 4 in the AP poll and No. 5 in the coaches poll. Michigan State won the game at the Breslin Center, 75–52. The next month, both teams were again ranked in the Top 10, this time Michigan was on the winning end of a match played in the Crisler Center, by a score of 58–57.
Indiana Mr. Basketball for 2012, Gary Harris, also 2013 Indiana Mr. Basketball Zak Irvin were teammates at Hamilton Southeastern High School, but Irvin signed with Michigan later Harris had united Michigan State. The two were best friends from third grade through high school and even wagered on the January 17, 2012 game in high school following both had dedicated to different basketball programs, with Harris needing to use Maize and Blue to get a day consequently.
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