Michigan basketball is looking to deal a damaging blow to Michigan State’s bubble chances on Senior Day in East Lansing.
The rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State has been on center stage in the Big Ten this week thanks to a home-and-home series between the bitter rivals. The Wolverines held serve in Ann Arbor on Thursday, blowing out the Spartans 69-50 to clinch the Big Ten’s regular-season title and dealing a damaging blow to Michigan State’s bubble hopes in the process.
Michigan turned a close game into a rout with a 25-4 run in the second half, demonstrating why they are a true threat to win the national championship in April. Franz Wagner paced the Wolverines on offense, racking up 19 points and six rebounds to lead the way with Hunter Dickinson having to deal with foul trouble.
Today’s game is essentially meaningless for Michigan, which is already a lock to end up on the top line when the brackets are unveiled next Sunday. The contest means everything for the Spartans, who are trying to extend their streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances to 23, a prospect that is in some jeopardy thanks to a midseason swoon for Tom Izzo’s team.
Michigan State has been trying to claw its way back into the bubble mix by picking up big wins over Indiana (sweeping the season series), Illinois and Ohio State to get into position to be one of the last four teams into the field entering the day. A win over the Wolverines would probably be enough to punch the Spartans’ ticket to dance while a loss would mean that Michigan State has to do some work in the Big Ten Tournament to separate themselves from the competition.
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