Michigan State's rivalry basketball game with Michigan first of its kind
EAST LANSING — Michigan State's Tuesday night game against Michigan is quite literally of historical proportion.
For the first time in the series' 170-game history, the teams will meet while both ranked in the top 10.
The Spartans (20-4, 9-2 Big Ten) are No. 8 in both the AP Top 25 poll and USA Today Coaches Poll, while the Wolverines (21-3, 8-3) come in ranked No. 4 in the AP poll and No. 5 in the coaches poll.
The game tips off at 9 p.m. at Breslin Center and will be televised by ESPN.
"We have worked our way from wherever we were at the beginning of the year (No. 14), and they have maintained where they were in the top five, and deservedly so,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "I don't' feel threatened, I don't feel overly excited. It feels the way it's supposed to be.
"It's games like this that gives you a chance to see where you are, and I'm excited to see where we are.''
Izzo is 19-11 against Michigan and 5-3 against Wolverines' coach John Beilein, but the Spartans have dropped three of the past four meetings.
According to the RPI rankings, Michigan is No. 4 with the nation's No. 22 strength of schedule and Michigan State is No. 9 with the 26th most-difficult schedule.
The Sagarin computer rankings have the Wolverines No. 3 with a No. 8 strength of schedule and the Spartans No. 11 in rank and strength of schedule.
The Pomeroy Ratings have Michigan No. 4 with a No. 13 strength of schedule and Michigan State No. 13 in the ratings with the No. 4 strength of schedule