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Friday, March 7, 2014


The basketball programs from Michigan State and Michigan will collide again tonight in second-round action of the women's conference tournament. MSU holds the #2-seed and awaits the #7-seed UM after the  Wolverines beat Indiana in the opening round last night.

The Spartans have won nine of their last ten games, a late-season surge that culminated in the conference championship, the second time in four years Suzy Merchant has accepted a regular season trophy. Her players took care of business in the home finale on Sunday, then raised a banner and cut the net down before holding their team banquet on Tuesday night. MSU arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday to prepare for tonight's game.

The Wolverines started their season strong, crafting a 13-5 overall record by mid-January, only to slide into a sixth place tie at 8-8. They have won only four of their last ten games, but their last five victories have come away from Crisler Arena. UM lost their last five home games of the year.

These teams met only once in the regular season, a 79-72 MSU victory in Ann Arbor. That game was tied with three minutes to play, proving that UM will bring it's "A-game" against their rivals.

Michigan will be looking for its 17th win over MSU since the 1970's. Michigan State will seek its 23rd win in the last 25 games against UM.

Tonight's game should be a great match-up between two teams that will give their best efforts for 40 minutes and beyond, if necessary. None of the players in this game will lose focus or forget to play defense. Neither team will fail to respect their opponent. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

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