LANSING, Mich. — It's been almost two years since Michigan beat Michigan State in basketball, and the Spartans have a chance to extend that streak this Sunday at the Breslin Center.
It's the calm before the storm at the Breslin Center where the Michigan State Spartans are prepping to tip off against in-state rival Michigan, and even during a rivalry that's been going for over 100 years, both teams are finding a way to keep things fresh.
The newest addition to the rivalry, in a sense, is Wolverines Head Coach Juan Howard, who was a member of Michigan's "Fab Five," and although that part of the rivalry had its rough patches, there is nothing but respect for Spartans Head Coach Tom Izzo.
"He's done a good job there, it's been a great start for him and we'll see how it goes," Izzo said.
Howard has the same praises for Izzo.
"There's a lot of respect from both sides...I'm sure neither one will admit it, but there is, it's a competitive rivalry," Howard said.
For some of the Spartans, their opponent is just another one on the list.
"It's just basketball to me, every game is going to be a tough game, it's going to be competitive. That's how it's been my whole life, so nothing's going to change," Game Brown, MSU forward, said.
For other team members, it might mean just a little more.
"My mom went to Michigan and played for them so every time I get to play against them, I'm always excited. We never talk trash or anything like that, but it's just exciting to get bragging rights," Xavier Tillman, MSU forward said.
Bragging rights that both Tillman and his teammates hope to keep their winning streak going against the Wolverines.
"Last year, we had a good run and before that one, they had a good run, so we'll try to come out on top. To have a team that does pretty well and a good team we play each year, fortunate to be our rival, it makes the game that much better," Cassius Winston, MSU guard, said.
The Spartans are set to tip off against the Wolverines in the 191st edition of this storied rivalry. The game is set to start a 1:30 p.m.
This series has been all about streaks over the last 12 years. You have to go back to 2007 to find the last time one of these teams didn't win at least two in a row.
Michigan State had streaks of 4-2 and 5-3 games.
Michigan has had three, 3-game winning streaks in that time.
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