Michigan State-Michigan did not take long to live up to the hype at Madison Square Garden. The in-state rivals squared off in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals Saturday afternoon, and they quickly proved that it their rivalry will follow them wherever they play.
The game, a 75-64 Michigan win, got off to a chippy start with a pair of altercations ahead of the first media timeout. The split crowd at the world’s most famous arena was loving it.
Michigan State’s Nick Ward and Charles Matthews exchanged some words after a hard foul.
Just seconds later, there was a second dust up. Ward was hit with a technical foul for it as the team’s headed to their benches for the first media timeout. Tom Izzo wasn’t happy about Ward for the technical, but it appeared to spark the Spartans. Michigan State went on a 10-0 after the call on Ward to take the lead.
There were no other altercations in the rest of the game, but players discussed the heated rivalry afterward.
“It’s Michigan State versus Michigan in the [Big Ten] Tournament,” Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. said. “There’s no chippier matchup in the entire country besides Duke-North Carolina, so it just is what it is.”