The Michigan–Michigan State basketball competition is a college basketball rivalry between Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball and Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball that’s part of the larger intrastate competition between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University that is over a broad spectrum of endeavors including their general athletic applications: Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans. On the subject, the athletic competition includes the Paul Bunyan Trophy and the Michigan–Michigan State ice hockey rivalry, but goes to almost all sports and many other types of achievement. Both teams are members of the Big Ten Conference. The rivalry has been evidenced both to 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 noteworthy of which turned into the University of Michigan Football scandal, the investigation of which began when both schools sought the services of Mateen Cleaves.
Michigan now 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 were not guaranteed two matches against each other. Accordingly, the colleges chose to play 1 game that did not count as a convention game in 1997. Whenever the Big Ten went to a 20-game conference schedule in 2018–19, the conference declared the teams would always play each other two in each season.
A 1996 rollover accident throughout Michigan’s recruiting of Mateen Cleaves led to some very long investigation surrounding the University of Michigan basketball scandal. Cleaves finally matriculated in Michigan State.
Regardless of the intense rivalry for basketball recruits and tools and the intensity of the competition in other sports, the rivalry had not been intense (as quantified by rankings) on the basketball court before the 2010s when the teams met 7 times in a row as rated opponents.
On February 12, 2013, for the first time in the show’ 170-game history, dating back to 1909, the groups met while both were rated in the Top 10. The Spartans (20–4, 9–2 Big Ten) were ranked 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, both teams were again ranked in the Top 10, now Michigan was on the winning end of a game played at the Crisler Center, by a score of 58–57.
Indiana Mr. Basketball for 2012, Gary Harris, and 2013 Indiana Mr. Basketball Zak Irvin were teammates in Hamilton Southeastern High School, but Irvin signed with Michigan later Harris had joined Michigan State. The two were best friends from third grade through high school and even wagered on the January 17, 2012 match in high school after the two had committed to distinct basketball programs, with Harris needing to wear Maize and Blue for a day consequently.
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