The Breslin Center will have its first matchup of top five teams ever on Tuesday night.
Michigan State moved up to No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press poll and will take on top-ranked Indiana at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The next highest-profile matchup of ranked teams aside from Tuesday’s was when the then No. 3 Spartans defeated No. 6 North Carolina 77-64 at Breslin on Nov. 29, 2000.
“What I’m gonna preach to my guys is these are opportunities that 99 percent of America never gets to be a part of,” MSU coach Tom Izzo said Monday. “How many teams did two top five teams get to play on somebody’s campus. It doesn’t happen very often.
There have been eight matchups between top 10 teams at Breslin and the Spartans are 6-2 in those contests. The most recent was MSU’s 75-52 victory over Michigan last Tuesday. The first came on March 11, 1990 when the then-No. 7 Spartans defeated No. 10 Purdue 72-70.
Indiana, which received 43 of a possible 65 first-place votes in the AP poll this week, and MSU are tied for the Big Ten lead with 11-2 records.
“You always hope that the games are as good as the billing and this has a chance to be,” Izzo said. “This is what college basketball to me is all about.”
Adding to the game will be the return of Magic Johnson, who will be calling the game for ESPN alongside Dick Vitale and Mike Tirico.
*** Other Big Ten teams in the AP poll include: Michigan (7), Ohio State (18), Wisconsin (19). Minnesota and Illinois are receiving votes
*** Big Ten teams in coaches poll: Indiana (1), MSU (5), Michigan (7), Wisconsin (17), Ohio State (18). Illinois and Minnesota are receiving votes
*** Gary Harris was named the Big Ten freshman of the week this morning. He earned the honor for the third time this season. Harris averaged 15.5 points and shot 57.9 percent while helping MSU to wins over Michigan and Nebraska last week.