It’s been 25 years since Michigan was this big of a favorite against its in-state rival.

The spread for Thursday night’s clash between Michigan State and No. 2 Michigan in Ann Arbor is set at 12 points in favor of the Wolverines. According to Kyle Austin of, that’s the largest spread in favor of U-M since at least 1996.

Even considering the status of the two teams entering this final week of the season, a 12-point spread seems a little high, especially for a rivalry game.

Michigan is coming off an ugly 76-53 loss to No. 4 Illinois on Tuesday night, suffering just its second defeat of the season. The Wolverines are 18-2 on the season and currently sitting atop the B1G standings. A win in the next two games, and the Wolverines will clinch an outright B1G regular season title.

The Spartans have been playing much better basketball recently, winning three of their last four contests. In that run, they’ve knocked off ranked opponents Illinois and Ohio State and are recently coming off a win over Indiana.

However, this will be the fifth game Michigan State has played in 10 days. The Spartans could be running on empty entering the matchup in Ann Arbor.