The Michigan–Michigan State basketball competition is a school 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 exists over a broad spectrum of jobs including their overall athletic programs: Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans. On the subject, the athletic rivalry comprises the Paul Bunyan Trophy and the Michigan–Michigan State ice hockey rivalry, but extends to just about all sports and many other forms of accomplishment. 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 the competition, recruiting of basketball ability has resulted in battles, the most notable of which turned to the University of Michigan Football scandal, the analysis of that began when both schools sought the services of Mateen Cleaves.
Michigan currently leads the show, which began on January 9, 1909. As a result of this Big Ten moving to 11 teams with the inclusion of Penn State, teams were not guaranteed two matches against every other. Accordingly, the schools chose to play 1 game that didn’t count as a conference game in 1997. When the Big Ten went to a 20-game conference schedule in 2018–19, the conference declared the teams would play each other two in every season.
A 1996 rollover accident during Michigan’s recruitment of Mateen Cleaves led to 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 and the degree of the rivalry in different sports, the competition hadn’t been intense (as measured by positions ) on the basketball court until the 2010s when the teams met 7 times in a row as rated 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–two 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 match 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 after Harris had joined Michigan State. Both were best buddies from third grade through high school and even wagered on the January 17, 2012 game in high school after the two had committed to different basketball programs, with Harris having to use Maize and Blue for a day as a result.
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