Monday, March 17, 2014

It's okay to say both Michigan and MSU are good

A rivalry is meant to be competitive.
One side not giving the other credit for their accomplishments.
That is what makes it a rivalry.
But, if we can all take a second to step back, maybe we can all agree that Michigan and Michigan State are in a good place right now on the basketball floor.

Spartan Fans – Can we admit that the last 12 months have been pretty good for John Beilein and the Wolverines? Similar to you this season, Michigan struggled its way into the postseason last year. However, it found the right formula and took off in the NCAA Tournament, doing something State hasn’t done since 2009, and that is play for the national championship. Combine that with a Big Ten regular season championship this season, and I can understand why it would be frustrating for Spartan fans. However, you have to give credit where it is due.
DON’T PLAY THE INJURY CARD. Yes, MSU has been dealing with injuries all season, but try to look me in the eye and say you expected Michigan to flourish without Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Then try and tell me the same thing when you found out Mitch McGary was basically not going to play all season. You can’t. Michigan did amazing things this season and showed great development in its role players from last season. John Beilein deserves a look at being the National Coach of the Year.
18 GAMES MEAN MORE THAN 3. Michigan State looked great this weekend, but a Big Ten Tournament title doesn’t trump a regular season title. Don’t even try to make that argument, because if the roles were reversed, you would laugh at Michigan fans for trying to claim that. Accept that Michigan swept the regular season and won the regular season title. It happened and it is a big accomplishment for that program.

Michigan Fans – Can we admit that Michigan State looks like the better team today than Michigan? I know the Wolverines won the season series, 2-1, but you can’t deny that Sunday’s Michigan State team is the one many were expecting all season. The Spartans look to be peaking at the right time and they are probably putting the fear in all other teams right now. It doesn’t diminish all that Michigan has done this season. Michigan State should be the better team on paper, which should make your Big Ten regular season title that much sweeter.
MARCH IS KING. Just like a regular season title means more than a conference tournament title, a run in March means more than anything else. The Final Four banner holds supremacy over a league title. If Michigan State makes a run to the Final Four, or even wins the national title, that will be the trump card this season. It was your trump card last season when you reached the title game and MSU lost in the Sweet 16.
YOU NEED BANNERS. In football, Michigan fans teased Michigan State for decades about Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl appearances. Michigan claimed, and rightfully so during a stretch, that it had national aspirations while MSU was a regional program. The same can be said for Michigan basketball. Despite last year’s run, Michigan is still fighting to sustain national success over a period of time. You do that with banners. Michigan winning the Big Ten this season was a big step for the program. It needed that to continue to establish itself as a strong basketball program nationally. Michigan State doesn’t need that right now. While the Spartans always want to win the Big Ten, they have established themselves already. Michigan State has been about March for some time now. Their goals are bigger than the Big Ten when it comes to basketball. Michigan is working toward that point, but they need to string together a few solid postseason runs before they can be a Final Four contender year in and year out.

So, can we all agree?
Who knows, maybe there will be a fourth meeting with everything at stake. That would be something.

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