Mateen Cleaves was only a sophomore, still two years away from leading Michigan State to a national championship.
Michigan was in its first season after coach Steve Fisher's ouster - a memorable era giving way to hard times and NCAA sanctions.
The date was Feb. 17, 1998, and that's the last time the Spartans and Wolverines met while both were in the Top 25. That bit of trivia will finally change Tuesday night, when No. 20 Michigan hosts No. 9 Michigan State in a renewal of a rivalry that is becoming nationally significant once again.
''It has been kind of a roller coaster for both teams in some ways,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. ''I think it's good for the rivalry. I think it's good for the state of Michigan. ... Both teams, I think, deserve to be ranked.''
Last January, Michigan was mired in a six-game losing streak before shocking Michigan State in East Lansing. It was the Wolverines' first victory there since 1997 and the start of a late-season surge that helped Mich...