By: Jeff Riger
A lot of people thought MSU would protect their home court on Tuesday night against in-state rival Michigan and they did exactly that and more. MSU throttled Michigan 75-52 and claimed, at least for the time being that they are the best team in the state. In fact MSU has been the best in the Mitten for going on 15 years now, ever since Mateen Cleaves helped start the winning back in the mid 90’s.
Cleaves, along with other former Spartans celebrated with MSU players after the game as once again the Green and White prove their dominance. Below are some of the more interesting things that Cleaves had to say about the program, their arch rivals and Final Four aspirations
When asked why he chose to go to school at MSU Cleaves said “I fell in love with Coach Izzo, when he would come to Flint, all the Flint people would treat them as their own. Coach Izzo was the one that could come and go around any neighborhood and be safe. I didn’t have to worry about nothing. My Mother loved him and he was a great coach but he is a better person.”
Cleaves talked about the Wolverines getting flattened saying “I wanted to win this game; I didn’t think they would win by that much to be honest. They got off to a great start and didn’t look back and you have to give them credit, they played hard tonight.”
Cleaves also talked about the rivalry saying “they don’t like us and we don’t like them. We respect them but it’s the Michigan-Michigan State game and you don’t want to lose this game. I got Michigan friends and the stuff you have to go through if you lose this game; you just don’t want to go through it.”
Watch the entire video below as Cleaves also talks about why he believes the Spartans will be cutting down the nets in April.