Michigan State ranked No. 1 in preseason AP poll for first time in school history
EAST LANSING -- Two weeks before the start of the season, this Michigan State basketball team has already made program history.
Michigan State is ranked No. 1 in the preseason Associated Press college basketball poll, which was released on Monday afternoon.
It marks the first time in program history that the Spartans have entered a season ranked No. 1.
The Spartans received 60 out of a possible 65 first-place votes to easily earn the top spot.
That ranking will be tested immediately when Michigan State opens the season against No. 2 Kentucky on Nov. 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York. It will mark the third time in the last seven years that the Spartans have played in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game in the first week of the season.
Michigan State has been listed atop most offseason rankings, as it returns All-American point guard Cassius Winston and two more starters from its 2019 Final Four run. But the release of the Associated Press poll formalizes the Spartans' standing as the top preseason team in the country.
It's a ranking the Spartans have anticipated and have said will welcome when it comes, pressure and all.
"It would be an honor if that happened, and if it did, we would embrace it," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said last week at the team's media day. "We're going to be picked in the top five, and I think that's awesome for the program, awesome for the players."
Michigan State has been ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll four times in the last 10 years, in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2018, and in the top five seven other times in program history to start a season.
But in the 58 previous preseason polls dating back to 1962, the Spartans had never earned the top ranking until this year.
The Spartans have now been ranked No. 1 in three of the last five seasons. The 2017-18 team spent one week there in January and the 2015-16 Spartans spent four weeks as the No. 1 team in America. The Spartans also reached No. 1 during the 2013-14, 2000-01 and 1978-79 seasons.
After playing Kentucky, the Spartans will also face No. 4 Duke and No. 12 Seton Hall during its non-conference schedule and potentially No. 3 Kansas at the Maui Invitational.
LINCOLN - Against the top blocking team in the conference, Nebraska emerged victorious in the battle at the net. The fifth-ranked Huskers recorded 14 blocks, compared to just eight for Michigan State, to earn a 21-25,
More News in Michigan
CLOSE In 42 years of marathon coverage, he's our biggest loser -- by far. And that makes him a heckuva winner. Carlos Orosco, 43, of Zilwaukee is the Detroit marathon runner who lost the most weight
There weren't all that many upsets this weekend, but a handful of big ones (hellooooo, Lovie Smith!) caused some seismic shifts in the field of likely College Football Playoff teams. In just three weeks, the list
It looked like it might be a blowout for the home team, leading 21-0 and everything was coming pretty easy. Michigan's defense answered the call and kept the game close until the end.
No. 1 Alabama (7-0) beat Tennessee 35-13. Next: vs. Arkansas, Saturday. No. 2 LSU (7-0) beat Mississippi State 36-13. Next: vs. No. 11 Auburn, Saturday. No. 3 Clemson (7-0) beat Louisville 45-10. Next: vs. Boston College, Saturday. No.
On the first play of Saturday night's big game featuring Michigan against Penn State, Jim Harbaugh had to call a timeout to avoid a penalty. Beaver Stadium is so loud that Michigan had to
Penn State superfans: Get exclusive, in-depth Nittany Lions news, analysis and recruiting updates every day. Become a PennLive Football Insider. Only $5.99 a month. Learn more. STATE COLLEGE - Greetings from the Beaver Stadium press