Hard evidence suggests Michigan has caught Michigan State in basketball
Michigan State fans don't like this notion, but I believe it to be true. Not based on 2008 or 2009. Or 2000. But in the world as it exists in 2012. The one we live in now.
Michigan's basketball program has caught Michigan State's. Why? The proof?
They had the same record this season in the Big Ten, sharing the conference title. They split their two meetings. The Spartans schedule was tougher than Michigan's overall, but not to the degree MSU's faithful is saying. State had nice wins over Gonzaga and Florida State. But didn't anybody notice Gonzaga lost to St. Mary's in the West Coast Conference title game Monday? Michigan did beat UCLA, Iowa State and Memphis in non-conference play. Not bad. Like MSU, the Wolverines did split with Ohio State.
I don't see how Michigan State should extra credit for losing to North Carolina and Duke. Oh, Michigan lost to Duke, too.
And then there is next season. State will be formidable, but won't have Draymond Green. Michigan figures to be better than State if Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Morgan return (there is no indication they won't), and with the addition of a much needed big man in five-star recruit Mitch McGary.
Will this perception change? It could. It depends on the next few weeks. Who does better in the Big Ten Tournament? If they play again, who wins on a neutral court? If State makes another run to the Final Four and Michigan is knocked out much earlier, then OK, MSU will have proven a point.
Yet, they have to prove it. The Spartans didn't during the regular season. Rather, it was more like Michigan stated its case.