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Michigan State hangs on for huge win over rival Michigan to get on NCAA bubble

The last day of the Big Ten season might cost the Wolverines a No. 1 seed if they don’t win the Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan State Spartans forward Aaron Henry goes to the basket during the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Spartans picked up a massive win to enhance their NCAA Tournament chances with a 70-64 win over their rival the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines on Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center in Lansing, Michigan.

Rocket Watts shined for the Spartans, with 21 points on 8-16 from the field. Michigan State (15-11, 9-11 B1G) was only 24-54 from the field as a team, but still managed 1.13 points per possession thanks to 18-23 from the free throw line.

The Wolverines (19-3, 14-3 B1G) entered with both a top-10 offense and defense in the country, but got outrebounded 38-32 by Sparty, who was playing for their postseason hopes. Michigan had already locked up the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament this week, but a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament might now be in jeopardy.

As for Michigan State’s bubble status, they move to 5-9 against Quad 1 teams on the season. But with an NET of 72 and a KenPom of 61, they are by no means a lock for The Big Dance even with the victory.

But Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com moves them to one of the last four byes to get in the tournament without a First Four appearance.