7:00 PM ET, January 25, 2014
Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Gary Harris said. "The Bres will be rocking. They'll be ready to play, so it's definitely going to be a battle."Breslin was certainly loud last year, when Michigan State and Michigan played each other as top 10 teams for the first time. The Spartans won that one in a 75-52 rout.Saturday's game marks another first -- Michigan State (18-1, 7-0) and Michigan (14-4, 6-0) have never met with both teams at 6-0 or better in Big Ten play.It's a rivalry that's experienced a renaissance in recent years. Michigan and Michigan State were both part of a three-way tie for the Big Ten title in 2012. After the embarrassing loss in East Lansing last year, the Wolverines rebounded and went all the way to the Final Four. Michigan has won four of the last six in this series after losing 18 of the previous 21."I think the main thing is we're not scared," Michigan's Nik Stauskas said. "We're just going to come in and play the way Michigan basketball plays and just be as aggressive as we can."The Wolverines lost Burke and Hardaway after last season's run, and any hope of similar success in 2014 seemed gone when McGary needed surgery for a back injury. McGary is out indefinitely, but Michigan has won eight in a row despite the star big man's absence. Jordan Morgan has filled in and is helping the offense with his ability to cut to the basket."When he's a threat, people kind of sag in from the side," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "Stauskas is doing more as a passer than maybe Hardaway did."The Spartans, meanwhile, have won 11 in a row despite significant injury problems of their own. Payne has missed four straight games with a foot injury, and Izzo has said he's unlikely to play Saturday. Michigan State also must replace Dawson, who broke his hand this week.Dawson said he was reviewing film of a game and became angry with his play, slamming his hand against a table.Nobody doubts the intensity of this rivalry. Michigan coach John Beilein was asked about McGary's status and said he has not officially started rehab."My biggest concern would be on the bench," Beilein said. "His national inclination is to jump up and down, hug his teammates, do these things. There's still a period here where you've just got to be extremely dormant."Beilein said it might be best if McGary watches Saturday's game on TV instead of making the trip.With Dawson and possibly Payne out Saturday, Harris and fellow guard Keith Appling will be on the spot. The game may come down to how effective Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III can be for Michigan against Michigan State's defense on the perimeter.The most likely candidate to start in Dawson's place is forward Kenny Kaminski. A redshirt freshman, Kaminski has appeared in 12 games this season and made 17 of 31 attempts from 3-point range.Amid all the adversity they've faced, the Spartans still have only one loss -- at home against North Carolina. Beilein can certainly appreciate Michigan State's resiliency."I think usually you can respond," Beilein said. "They're used to playing without Payne right now. As good as he is, as great a player, they're used to it."Both Michigan and Michigan State have proven they can play well while short-handed -- and each team should have more than enough adrenaline to put forth an inspired performance this weekend."Hopefully (we're) at 100 percent, 212 degrees, every game, no matter who the opponent is," Beilein said. "Is it easier to get up for this game? Absolutely."
|Avg Points Allowed||65.4||65.3|
|Conference||Big Ten||Big Ten|
Despite losing two players to the first round of the NBA Draft, Michigan has a top-10 offense for the second straight season.[+]
Michigan Division-I Ranks
Nik Stauskas is averaging more than seven points per game this season than he did a year ago. Stauskas' point distribution has been more balanced this season, with a higher percentage of his points coming on two-point field goals and free throws.[+]
Nik Stauskas Point Distribution - Last 2 Seasons
Keith Appling has scored or assisted on 57% of Michigan State's points in transition. The Spartans are fourth in the nation with 423 transition points.
Since conference play began in 1905, Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State game (7 ET on ESPN) will be the first time there is a Big Ten game in which both teams entered with a conference record of 6-0 or better (Michigan is 6-0, Michigan State is 7-0).
The loss comes of Branden Dawson for the next 4-to-5 weeks comes at a bad time for Michigan State. The Spartans were already without Adreian Payne, who is expected to miss at least the next 2 weeks with a sprained right foot. Payne is averaging 16.2 PPG and 7.7 RPG while Dawson is averaging 10.2 PPG and 8.7 PPG. Michigan State is also entering a tough stretch in its schedule. 3 of the Spartans' next 5 games are against ranked opponents - Saturday vs 21 Michigan, Tuesday at 10 Iowa (both games on ESPN) and Feb. 9 at 9 Wisconsin. Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson Michigan State Ranks This Season Payne Dawson PPG 2nd 4th RPG 2nd 1st Mins PG 3rd 4th Blocks PG 2nd 3rd >Both out with injuries
Prior to last Saturday, Michigan hadn't won a road game at a top-5 opponent since 1964, when it won at 5th-ranked Duke. The Wolverines had lost 36 straight road games at top-5 opponents since then. But in the last week, they have defeated a pair of top-5 teams -- number-3 Wisconsin last Saturday and 3rd-ranked Michigan State earlier tonight.[+]
Michigan Road Wins at Top-5 Opponents - Last 50 Seasons
Saturday was Michigan's 1st win against a top-5 Spartan squad since January of 1979, when Magic Johnson was still in East Lansing. And it's the Wolverines' 1st ROAD win against a top-5 Spartan team in school history.[+]
Michigan Past 2 Wins vs Michigan State - With Spartans Ranked in Top 5
Fixes typo on Michigan 2-pt FG)... 6 of Michigan's 11 FG made in 1st half against were 3-pt FG (6-11 on 3-pt FG, 5-16 on 2-pt FG).
(21) Michigan def. (3) Michigan St, 80-75 What Win Means for Wolverines: * 1st-ever road win vs top-5 Michigan State team * 1st win vs top-5 Michigan State team since Jan. 25, 1979 * Largest win vs top-5 Michigan State team since Jan. 21, 1967 * Had lost 4 straight games against top-5 Michigan State team * 3-2 in past 5 games vs top-10 Michigan State team (lost previous 9 such meetings, dating to 1979)
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