When it comes to women’s basketball, Michigan is by far a green state.
Michigan State’s 61-46 victory over Michigan on Monday night at the Breslin Center continued the Spartans dominance of the in-state rivalry. It was the Spartans’ 12th straight victory over Michigan, 11th straight at Breslin Center. MSU has won 20 of the last 21 meetings with Michigan’s lone win in that stretch coming in 2008.
“It isn’t about tallying things up, it’s about this team is different than any other team we’ve had in the past,” MSU coach Suzy Merchant said. “For us this is the last chance we’re going to have to play Michigan at home with this group of kids. Our focus was don’t let Michigan win on the Breslin court, I don’t care how many times it’s been.”
And the rivalry as a whole has been dominated by the Spartans, who own a 61-15 edge in the series.
Michigan’s best stretch of success in the rivalry came from the 1997-98 season to 2001-02 when it won seven of the nine meetings. That included a stretches of three straight and four straight wins.
Since then the Spartans have returned to their successful ways in the series.
First-year Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico constantly heard about MSU’s dominance as soon as she took the job last spring.
“At my press conference everyone spoke about how we have to them 11-straight times and and this is a really important game for us,” Barnes Arico said. “For the first day on the job and people to be making those kind of statements about this game made me appreciate how really important this rivalry in. I think it’s really important to my kids and the kids in the state, the community, just everyone.”
Barnes Arico said the Michigan program has made tremendous strides and knows it’s a process before the Wolverines can get on the same level. But she and her program are looking forward to their next meeting with the Spartans on Feb. 16.
“We have one more shot at Michigan State and I am sure that everyone is going to be excited to have an opportunity to play them at home and an opportunity to get better in practice,” Barnes Arico said. “It is definitely important to us and a place we are striving to be. They are an excellent program right now and that’s where we want to be.”
MSU has stated its case as the premier program in the state not only by beating the Wolverines, but all the state’s other schools as well in the past decade. The Spartans are 37-1 against in-state schools since the 2002-03 season.
Looking at the series in some of the other sports matchups between MSU and Michigan, women’s basketball is where the Spartans have had their most dominance.
Baseball â€“ Michigan leads 193-104-2 (MSU has won eight of last 10 meetings since 2009 season)
Men’s basketball – Michigan leads 94-75 (Wolverines have won three of last four over past two seasons)
Field hockey â€“ Michigan leads 36-23-6
Football – Michigan leads 68-32-5 (Spartans had won four straight until losing last year’s meeting in Ann Arbor)
Gymnastics – Michigan leads 60-38 (Spartans last beat the Wolverines in competition on Feb. 3, 2009 – 196.350-195.775)
Hockey â€“ Michigan leads 148-124-19 (Wolverines won three of the four meetings this season
Men’s soccer – MSU leads 11-5-1 (Teams split meetings in the fall with Spartans winning the matchup in the Big Ten tournament championship game)
Women’s soccer – Michigan leads 9-5-7
Softball â€“ Michigan leads 74-27 (MSU has lost seven straight since posting a 2-1 win on May 9, 2009)
Men’s swimming and diving – Michigan leads 82-5 (MSU’s last triumph in the series was a 63-60 win in the 1976-77 season)
Women’s swimming and diving – Michigan leads 31-2 (MSU won the first-ever meeting between the schools and then beat the Wolverines 78-62 in the 1985-86 season)
Men’s tennis – Michigan leads 95-19 (MSU’s last win was in the Big Ten Tournament in 2004)
Women’s tennis – Michigan leads 44-17 (MSU’s last win in series was March 28, 2002)
Volleyball â€“ MSU leads 49-37-1. (U-M won two of the three meeting this season, including in the Sweet 16 of NCAA Tournament)
Wrestling â€“ Michigan leads 63-36-5 (Teams meet Sunday, Wolverines have won seven of last 10 meeting dating back to 2002-03 season)