Long revered on the gridiron, the decades-long series between Michigan and Michigan State is finally getting some respect on the hardwood as well. The Wolverines and Spartans split 2013-14's Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles, and neither side wants any part of sharing the glory with its in-state foes.
Recruiting is always a particularly contentious battleground for opponents who share a backyard, and Michigan State has gotten some gems lately. Senior PG Keith Appling, the leader of a squad with its eyes on the 2014 national title, is just one of the three Michigan Mr. Basketball winners to head to East Lansing since 2009.
Read on for more on Appling and the rest of the stars, games and moments that have made the Maize and Blue's contests with Sparty into the Big Ten’s highest-stakes rivalry of this century.