The Michigan–Michigan State basketball rivalry is a school basketball rivalry between Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball and Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball that’s part of their larger intrastate rivalry involving the University of Michigan and Michigan State University that is across a wide spectrum of endeavors including their general athletic programs: Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans. On the field, the athletic rivalry comprises the Paul Bunyan Trophy and the Michigan–Michigan State hockey baseball competition, but goes to just about all sports and many other forms of achievement. Both teams are members of the Big Ten Conference. The competition was evidenced both on the court and off the court. One of the off the courtroom elements of this competition, recruitment of basketball talent has resulted in battles, the most notable of which turned into the University of Michigan basketball scandal, the investigation of that began when both schools sought the services of Mateen Cleaves.
Michigan currently leads the series, which started on January 9, 1909. As a consequence of the Big Ten moving to 11 teams with the addition of Penn State, teams were not guaranteed two matches against every other. Accordingly, the colleges opted to play 1 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 announced the teams would always play each other twice in every season.
A 1996 rollover accident during Michigan’s recruitment of Mateen Cleaves resulted in a very long investigation surrounding the University of Michigan basketball scandal. Cleaves finally matriculated in Michigan State.
Despite the intense competition for basketball recruits and resources along with the degree of the competition in other sports, the rivalry hadn’t been intense (as measured by positions ) on the basketball court until the 2010s when the teams met seven days in a row as rated opponents.
On February 12, 2013, for the very first time in the show’ 170-game history, dating back to 1909, the groups met while both were ranked in the Top 10. The Spartans (20–4, 9–2 Big Ten) were rated No. 8 in 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 in the Breslin Center, 75–52. The following month, the two teams were again ranked in the Top 10, this time Michigan was on the winning end of a match played in the Crisler Center, with a score of 58–57.
Indiana Mr. Basketball for 2012, Gary Harris, also 2013 Indiana Mr. Basketball Zak Irvin were teammates in Hamilton Southeastern High School, but Irvin signed with Michigan after Harris had joined Michigan State. The two were best buddies from third grade through high school and even wagered on the January 17, 2012 match in high school following the two had committed to distinct basketball programs, with Harris needing to wear Maize and Blue to get a day as a result.
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