Michigan and Michigan State will do battle today in one of the biggest games in the series' recent memory.
For the first time in head coach Tom Izzo's tenure, Michigan State is not by any means a lock to make the NCAA Tournament as the Spartans (17-12, 9-8 Big Ten) have struggled all season long to maintain consistency. In fact, MSU needed to beat last-place Iowa earlier this week—which they did—to keep their tournament hopes alive. A win will likely put the Spartans in the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens in the Big Ten tournament.
The road to this point has been as equally bumpy for MSU's cross-state rival. Michigan lost six straight games at the start of January and most had written off the Wolverines (18-12, 8-9) before the conference schedule was even half over. But Michigan persevered, winning five of their next six to keep their hopes alive. Last weekend, Michigan completed a huge come-from-behind win on the road in Minnesota to give them a chance to finish .500 in the conference schedule. Michigan, which beat MSU at the Breslin Center earlier this season, would also likely be in the Big Dance with a win today.
Big game? You bet.