The first meeting between in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State was scheduled for Jan. 8 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but was postponed due to COVID-19 issues with the Wolverines. Since then, they have been trending in opposite directions, with Michigan now on its first three-game winning streak of the season and the No. 10 Spartans having dropped two of their last three as they prepare to tangle Saturday on CBS.
If the Wolverines (10-7, 4-3 Big Ten) are going to get on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble, though, a road win over a ranked opponent would certainly help. To date, Michigan is just 2-6 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 opposition, even after rattling off victories against Maryland, Indiana and Northwestern over the last couple weeks.
Michigan State (15-4, 6-2) has been up and down lately, starting with a surprising home loss to Northwestern on Jan. 15, which the Spartans followed up with a convincing win at then-No. 8 Wisconsin last Friday. Most recently, the Wolverines dropped a 56-55 nail-biter against an Illinois team playing without arguably its two best players.
So are these Spartans a Big Ten title contender, or are they the team we picked to finish sixth in the league back in October? Their performance against a surging rival should help reveal more insight into what figures to be a spirited affair between Michigan and Michigan State.
How to watch Michigan State vs. Michigan live
Michigan State vs. Michigan prediction, picks
Michigan appears to be gaining confidence, as the Wolverines enjoy their first three-game winning streak of the season behind the improved play of freshman wing Caleb Houstan. The Spartans have lost two of their last three and will need a good performance from their Big Ten Freshman of the Year candidate Max Christie. Ultimately, Michigan State should win a close because of its home court advantage. Prediction: Michigan State 74, Michigan 72
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