CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In the past, the Michigan State Spartans have had their issues with the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Coming into Monday’s tilt, the Spartans had just three wins over Illinois over the past 10 seasons. Last year, the teams met just once, with the Illini coming away with the 73-70 victory on their home floor.
Monday night had a different narrative, as the Spartans used a strong start to the second half to break away from Illinois as the game wound down. Michigan State shot better than 68% as a team in Champaign, and picked up their second straight win with an 87-74 decision over the Fighting Illini.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Through seven games, the race for the Big Ten title is heating up.
At the top, you have the Purdue Boilermakers and the Ohio State Buckeyes, both of whom are 7-0 thus far. The Boilermakers received a first-place vote in the latest AP Top 25 rankings, while the Buckeyes are knocking on the door of the top 10.
In between the two, you have the sixth-ranked Michigan State Spartans, who are 5-2 in conference play and are looking to pick up their second straight win on Monday night when they face the Illinois Fighting Illini on the road. After a tough stretch of three games, the Spartans bounced back last time out for a big win to keep pace in the Big Ten race.
As for Illinois, they are trending in the opposite direction. They have lost five straight games overall, and are dead last in the conference at 0-7. Illinois is the only team in the Big Ten without a conference win, and they would like to change that on Monday night.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Like plenty of other conferences throughout the NCAA this season, the Big Ten standings are a hot mess.
Two teams, the Purdue Boilermakers and Ohio State Buckeyes, are a perfect 7-0 in conference play. While many expected Purdue to be in the thick of things, the work that Chris Holtmann has done with Ohio State is stellar in year one. Six teams below them are within four games of the conference lead, but no team is within 2.5 games of the leaders.
The middle of the conference is a log jam, and two teams will go head-to-head on Friday night to try and gain a bit of separation from the pack. In East Lansing, the Michigan State Spartans and Indiana Hoosiers will square off in a battle of two teams trending in opposite directions.
Just over a week ago, the Spartans were the top-ranked team in the country. Now, after two losses over their last three games, Michigan State comes in ranked ninth in the country. On the flip side, the Hoosiers suffered two losses to in-state opponents on their home floor in non-conference play, but are riding a three game winning streak into the Breslin Center.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Conference road wins are always sweet. But, when they come against your in-state rivals, they are that and so much more.
On Saturday afternoon, forward Moritz Wagner recorded a career-high 27 points to help lead the Michigan Wolverines to the 82-72 win over the fourth-ranked Michigan State Spartans inside the Breslin Center in East Lansing, MI.
Following a loss to the Purdue Boilermakers in their last outing by a single point, the Wolverines have shown that they can compete with the best of the best in the Big Ten Conference, and pick up wins in the process. The win over the Spartans was their eighth victory over their past nine games, and gives them two straight wins over their rivals.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The year may have changed to 2018, but Thursday night yielded the same result for the Michigan State Spartans, who picked up their 14th straight win with a 91-61 rout of the Maryland Terrapins inside the Breslin Center.
Michigan State came into the night riding a 13-game winning streak which started following their loss at the 2017 Champions Classic to the Duke Blue Devils. Their streak has seen them ascend to the top spot in both the Coaches Poll and the AP Poll, and they were eager to prove they deserved the ranking against a short-handed Maryland team.
The Spartans had also scored 100 or more points in four straight games, but it’s always tough to do that against the stiff competition of the Big Ten Conference. They came close, but they didn’t need to score 100 points to win big.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — A pair teams on lengthy winning streaks will go head-to-head on Thursday night, as the top-ranked Michigan State Spartans welcome the Maryland Terrapins to the Breslin Center for a Big Ten showdown.
After their loss to the Duke Blue Devils at the 2017 Champions Classic, the Spartans have won 13 straight games. They have topped the 100-point mark in each of their last four games, and are on quite the roll on both ends of the floor. Michigan State is the top-ranked team in the country for the fourth time under head coach Tom Izzo, and the Spartans plan to stay there for a while.
On the flip side, the Terrapins come into the day riding a seven game winning streak of their own. Two of the games were decided by six or fewer points, and both of those wins came against Big Ten opponents. Maryland has a huge opportunity in front of them on Thursday, as a win over the Spartans would cement the Terrapins as legitimate conference title contenders.
The teams met just once last season, with Michigan State picking up a 63-60 victory at home in the regular season finale. Maryland will look to exact some revenge on the Spartans, while Michigan State will look to continue their dominance this season.