College Basketball Rivalries

Since Beilein has started at Michigan, he’s taken the Michigan-MSU rivalry from something one-sided to something on a level of the best rivalries the past three years, Duke-North Carolina and Kentucky-Louisville. This year, most expect the level of play at Michigan and MSU to take a dip, especially MSU, but I think it’s important that both teams exceed expectations.

Some (most?) of you may not care how MSU does as long as Michigan is doing well, but I see it a different way. As long as Michigan is doing well, I’d rather MSU also does well (but worse than Michigan). (1) Personally I like the rivalries of college sports…it just adds that other level of interest. (2) I think a lot of recruits probably would like to play in rivalry games. (3) A strong MSU helps the conference, and this too helps with recruiting (see T.J. Leaf’s thoughts on the topic).

Maybe it’s because I am on mobile, but what is the y axis supposed to be?

Maybe it's because I am on mobile, but what is the y axis supposed to be?

Was wondering the same thing…

Sorry - kenpom ratings…

Rivalries are great for any sport. There are 3 types of rivalries - (1) 2 schools don’t like one another (2) 2 schools are consistently battling each other for a elite status/conf champ/natl champ (3) a combination of 1 & 2

Obviously (3) is the best rivalry from both a dislike and competition perspective and therefore garners the most attention on a national level. UM/MSU fell under (1) up until the last 4 years, and was really just a big deal within the state. Starting with the UM road victory during 10-11, UM/MSU basketball is now closer to (3) than (1), which is a good thing for being in the national spotlight and recruiting in general. Don’t think it will ever get to the level of UNC/Duke because basketball is an afterthought in the state of Michigan and an afterthought to UM administration in relation to football. The people in NC live, breathe and eat basketball, much the same that people in Michigan do for football.

UM/MSU in basketball will never be what UM/OSU football was from 69-06, but if it can just remain at the level it is now, with games that have a huge influence on conference championships and tourney seeding, in addition to being nationally televised, we will see the benefits in recruiting. Kids like TV exposure and high pressure situations against foes where the stakes are high.

One interesting thing about Michigan/MSU of late is that both schools want to play such different styles of basketball that it makes for a really intriguing game. MSU wants to beat you up on the glass, play physically, while Michigan wants to play great offense, shoot threes, etc.

Both have worked at times, so it makes it really fun to follow.

I haven’t been to a UNC/Duke game, but I will say the Louisville vs Kentucky game in Indy this past tourney blew away anything I’ve been around with MSU/UofM. Maybe it was heightened due to it being a tournament game, but it was insane. For awhile I was wondering if I was at a Lions old Silverdome game due to the amount of people being removed from their seats, arguing, fighting, etc.

You guys point out that among sports, college basketball is probably the biggest one in Kentucky and North Carolina. In those states, college basketball is the headliner, getting all the coverage. Not so in Michigan. But if both Michigan and MSU have continued success for many years, it will slowly move more and more to the forefront in the state. I actually think there are more questions about MSU’s longevity. I don’t know when Izzo is going to retire, but who will succeed him? Will they ever have a national recruiting presence? With Michigan, Beilein might retire before Izzo, but we’ve got a relatively young Coach Jordan to replace him that I think could work out quite well.