The Michigan Wolverines have been the best team in the Big Ten so far. Bold? Yes, but there is a lot of truth in that. The Wolverines have now beaten two ranked opponents in a row and they will upset another conference foe in the Michigan State Spartans.
Michigan is already 6-0 in conference play. Not to mention, it has beaten Iowa and Wisconsin in back-to-back games. Both teams were ranked in the top 10 as well, and the victory over the Badgers was won on the road. Not a bad start.
I am sure Michigan State fans would say that their beloved team has been the best in the Big Ten and they would have good reasoning behind that. The Spartans are 7-0 in conference play and have beaten teams like Indiana (twice), Illinois and Ohio State.
Michigan gets the nod in conference play so far for the simple fact that it has beaten two top 10 teams and one of those victories came on the road. Michigan State beat Ohio State when it was ranked No. 3, but it blew a big lead that led to an overtime victory. Plus, the game was played at home for the Spartans. And, the Buckeyes have lost three games in a row ever since that defeat.
With that in mind, I am not saying Thad Matta‘s team was undeserving of a No. 3 ranking or anything like that.
John Beilein‘s team has won eight games in a row. Tom Izzo‘s team has won 11 games in a row. As you can see, both teams are very hot, but one of them will have to lose.
Sure, the game will be played on the road for Michigan, but it has beaten better teams in conference play and Nik Stauskas is arguably the best player in the conference. Well, he has at least been the best player over the span of the last two games or so.
Stauskas dropped 23 on Wisconsin and 26 on Iowa. He has actually scored 20+ the past three games.
Regardless of the outcome, this should be a great matchup (Jan. 25), but I am going with the Wolverines. The victory will lead to their third straight win against a top 10 team. Now that would be impressive.