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Tuesday, March 3, 2015


The B1G Women's Basketball Tournament has brought a third game between Michigan State and Michigan, and with it, an unprecedented chance for UM to win three times over MSU in a single season. Should the Wolverines be victorious, they will be only 45 games behind the Spartans in the all-time series.

Suzy Merchant's team was ravaged this season by unexpected player-losses, due to injuries and an extremely rare mid-season freshman transfer out of the program. She has been left with only three scholarship veterans since conference play began, with a total of seven (7) basketball players available to finish the season. (A volleyball player with a basketball background was added to the team after New Year's to help with practices.)

The personnel deficits caused chaos and confusion to the team that was ranked in the Top 20 to begin the season and carried that ranking well into the holiday season. A five-game losing streak crushed the season in early January, and Merchant has been pushed to find ways to win games for two months. Her Spartans have responded with toughness, determination, and grit, leading to a ninth-place finish and three wins in the last four games.

But the match-ups with Michigan did not go well in either game. While Merchant's roster was picked apart by the hands of fate, the Bare-Armed-Babe down in Ann Arbor has a team at the top of it's multi-year program-cycle, with three prominent seniors in her starting lineup, and a roster full of players. Vegas does not typically set lines on women's basketball games, but the odds certainly favor UM in Thursday's game.

Thursday's meeting between Michigan State and Michigan will be the 83rd meeting overall, which is the Spartans' oldest and longest rivalry. 
The teams first met in 1973 in East Lansing, with the Spartans winning, 61-24, as part of MSU winning the first five match-ups, on the way to winning 23 of the first 25 meetings in the in-state rivalry.
MSU holds a 64-18 all-time series lead, having won 21 of the last 25 meetings. 
The Spartans are 15-4 against the Wolverines under head coach Suzy Merchant.

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1 comment:

  1. Based on the 24 point half time lead, I'm pretty confident to update the recent totals to 22 wins in the last 26 games and moving Suzi's record to 16-4 against the lady chUMps.


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