Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
It’s never happened. Not once. For as long as the two schools from the great state of Michigan have been playing basketball, they have never come across this particular occurrence once in any of their previous 169 match ups. But on Tuesday it will happen. The two rival schools will square off for the first time ever while both being ranked as one of the top ten teams in the nation. In what will be one of the biggest rivalry games to be played yet this season, the 8th ranked Michigan State Spartans (20-4, 9-2) will welcome into town the 4th ranked Michigan Wolverines (21-3, 8-3). Tip off is scheduled for 9:00 PM and will be televised on ESPN. For the better part of the past 15 years, it has largely been Michigan State holding the upper hand in this rivalry. However, ever since John Beilein took over the reigns at Michigan, the series has become more and more competitive and Michigan has even taken three of the past four contests between the two. The Spartans come into this one on a pretty hot streak, winners of nine of their last ten games, the sole loss, a five point one against Indiana in Bloomington. On the other hand there’s the Wolverines, who after starting the season 16-0, and later grabbing the number one ranking, have hit somewhat of a rough patch in their schedule, losers of two of their last three games, most recently an OT loss to Wisconsin 65-62. And now that brings us to this particular match up. The late season rivalry game where both teams are ranked in the top ten and are jockeying for position at the top of the most competitive conference in the country. To find themselves successful in Tuesday night’s game, Michigan State is going to have to contain this guy, Trey Burke. “I look forward to it each and every year,” Michigan State junior guard Keith Appling said. “I’m from Michigan so it means a whole lot more to me than it does to guys not from Michigan. It’s very exciting. It’s two very good teams competing for a Big Ten Championship.” The most intriguing part of this game to watch will most certainly be that of the guard play. Led by both potential player of the year candidate Trey Burke (18.2 ppg, 7. apg) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.0 ppg), Michigan features one of the most dynamic back courts in the nation. Add into this mix both freshman sharpshooter Nick Stauskas and wing man Glenn Robinson III, Michigan starts four perimeter players all capable of knocking down a plethora of threes at any time. It should be interesting to watch how Michigan State will defend this because while they do hold a distinct advantage on the inside with big men Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix, they may need to go away from this two big lineup in order to defend all the Michigan shooters. “I think defending the three is a key,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. “But that’s part of their game. They are going to make some threes. We have to make sure we’re not, you know, taking away the pass of the team and giving up 300 yards running. We’ve got to try to alter what their strengths are and make sure they aren’t beating us on things their not strong in.” Having that said, if Michigan State chooses to stick with their original lineup, both Appling and freshman guard Gary Harris will be held accountable for getting out on all these Wolverine shooters and keeping them at bay. And it looks like they are going to have to once again go with out the aid of sophomore guard Travis Trice, who is still day-to-day with lingering concussion like symptoms. “They have a lot of weapons so we’re are going to have to get back and locate our man and be ready to lock down defensively,” Appling said. “Our defensive precense is not going to change. I’m still going to have to rely on my help side defense. But at the end of the day it’s going to have to come down to me guarding the ball. I feel like I’m a pretty good defensive player so it shouldn’t be that difficult.” At the end of the day though, as both Michigan and Michigan State take to the floor to play each other in one of their biggest match ups in years, what lies at the heart of it all is still a great in-state rivalry game. And with so much at stake this year, it should be a very fun game to watch. “It’s going to be a war,” Harris said. ”Both teams are going to come out and they are going to play their hardest. It’s going to a battle and we are just going to have to be ready to play. It’s going to be a good game.”   Follow Ryan Squanda on twitter @squandarunner
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Saints pose legitimate threat to any playoff team

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Danny Ainge: Celtics 'having a lot of discussions' about trades

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Michael Vick has almost paid off all his massive debt

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Russell Wilson changes agents ahead of big payday

Dolphins CB: Brady needs to 'wake up' about playing into 40s

Bears to bench Jay Cutler, start Jimmy Clausen

Wes Welker once pulled funny UGG prank on Tom Brady

Wil Myers heads to Padres in 11-player, 3-team trade

Bo Pelini calls Nebraska AD a ‘c–t’ and ‘p-ssy’

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

Report: Bears in disbelief over Cutler benching

Is Titans-Jaguars the worst prime-time game this century?

Ranking the most underrated players in the NBA

Darrelle Revis feels sad for Rex Ryan

Five reasons why Oregon will win College Football Playoff

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason so far

Report: Celtics in serious trade talks involving Rondo

WATCH: Brandon Jennings makes mind-boggling play

WATCH: Drake intros Raptors on 'Drake Night'

Brian Billick owns Browns fan over Johnny Manziel criticism

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Report: Matt Kemp has arthritis in hips

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.