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Big Ten Tourney Championship:Michigan v. Michigan State

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The Many Faces of Michigan v. Michigan State

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Seriously, the State of Michigan has been hogging the B1G hardware and awards of late. Witness:

Big Ten Champs, Football: MSU

Biggest Bowl Win of 2013-14 Season: MSU (Rose Bowl)

Big Ten Champs, Basketball: Michigan

Big Ten Player Of The Year: Nik Stauskas, Michigan

So I guess it's only fitting that the two programs will grapple for Big Ten Tourney Champ today. I may have felt some cynicism about the importance of the BTT for both programs, thinking Michigan was a lock 2 seed no matter what and MSU was locked in at 4-5. But that cynical attitude does not hold up to scrutiny today as each team has made or can make a seeding move. Plus it's just fun to beat your rival.

Michigan has ridden two close wins to a #1 seed in the SBN's latest Bracketology prediction. And the Spartans could possibly be given a #3 seed with a win today. Just look at the Spartans resume if they beat Michigan today:

  • Healthy, talented squad
  • Izzo counts highly in March
  • Riding momentum, which counts for something with the selection committee
  • BTT Champs

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Last time these two squads met, Michigan wore the Spartans down in the 2nd half with one-on-one isolation plays beginning at the elbow. Time and time again, a Michigan guard would penetrate and create OR shoot over the smaller State defenders. Will Izzo allow this to happen again? Sure he loves his man defense, but adjustments need to be made against a Wolverine team that can shoot and create as well as any other team in America.

OTE PREDICTION

Michigan State 70, Michigan 67

The Wolverines have to lose a close game at some point, right? MSU gets some matter of revenge in Indi.