No. 1 vs. No. 2 doesn’t happen often. In fact, the last time the top two teams in the AP Poll met on the men’s hardwood, the year was 2008. But, for the first time since No. 2 Tennessee beat No. 1 Memphis on Feb. 24, 2008, we’ll have No. 1 vs. No. 2. It all happens Tuesday night, when No. 2 Michigan State plays No. 1 Kentucky at the United Center.
What’s more, Kentucky-Michigan State marks the earliest 1-2 matchup in a season. The previous one featured a Big Ten team, as well, as No. 1 Indiana beat No. 2 UCLA, 84-64, on Nov. 29, 1975.
Tuesday’s game – the fifth featuring the nation’s top two teams since 1999 – highlights a busy seven-game Big Ten slate, which also includes No. 10 Florida at No. 19 Wisconsin. On BTN/BTN2Go, we’ll have LIU-Brooklyn at No. 23 Indiana (6 ET) and Ohio at No. 9 Ohio State (8).
Back to the headliner of the night: Kentucky-Michigan State is going to be a dandy. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than Tom Izzo vs. John Calipari. Forget the iconic coaches, it will be a blast to watch future pros like Gary Harris and Adreian Payne go up against Kentucky’s handful, if not more, of future NBA guys.
Who has the advantage when No. 1 meets No. 2, anyway? According to Michigan State’s game notes, No. 1 teams are 20-19 vs. No. 2, however the No. 2 team has won six of the last eight.
No doubt, the Spartans will be ready and motivated to battle Kentucky.
And could they introduce a new shoe? Here’s what Travis Trice tweeted:
And now to some previews to get you ready for the game.
|About Brent Yarina||BTN.com senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.|