The Michigan State Spartans made news earlier this week as the program announced that it would be extending its series with the in-state Oakland Golden Grizzlies. The two have consistently played each over for the better part of the last decade and 13 of the last 14 seasons.
While Oakland isn’t the program it was in the early 2000s, it’s still a consistent mid-major that routinely gets within striking distance of the NCAA Tournament. The peak of Oakland’s short run as a program was 2009 and 2010, when the Grizzlies made two straight trips to the Big Dance.
The six-year extension is an interesting one. The games will be played annually, but will alternate between the Breslin Center in East Lansing and Little Caesar’s Arena (“The Pizza Palace”) in downtown Detroit. Obviously, Michigan State must have wanted bigger venue arenas than what Oakland can offer.
EIther way, this should be an interesting series to watch moving forward. Oakland always comes out firing against the Spartans when the two teams face off.