The Michigan-Michigan State basketball rivalry has become one of the best in the B1G. With the Wolverines and Spartans near the top of the conference each year, the in-state battles have been intense and intriguing.

Now that he’ll be running the show in Ann Arbor, Juwan Howard was asked how he felt about the heated rivalry between UM and MSU. More specifically, Howard was asked how he plans to swing the tide in Michigan’s favor after a slew of wins for Michigan State.

Howard didn’t get into the details of that, but did say he has nothing but respect for Tom Izzo and the program he runs in East Lansing.

You’ve got to give Coach Izzo a lot of credit,” Howard said. “His program is doing a fantastic job over the years. I have a lot of respect for Coach Izzo.

“Coach Izzo sent me a nice text congratulating me. I know that Coach Izzo is extremely competitive just like myself. I’m looking forward to having a chance for our team to line up against his team and, hey, let’s battle.”

While the two programs have had their back-and-forth moments in the series, Howard and the Fab Five never had much trouble with the Spartans. Howard owned a 5-1 record against Michigan State.

As long as Izzo is in East Lansing, Michigan State will never be an easy victory for Michigan. But those head-to-head matchups should be a lot of fun to watch moving forward.