The men’s basketball programs at Kansas and Michigan State have faced off 11 times over the years, with the first meeting coming on Dec. 16, 1960, in Manhattan, Kan. The series, though, has picked up during the last 12 seasons, with the Jayhawks and Spartans matching up five times during the Bill Self era.
Before No. 4 Kansas faces No. 13 Michigan State at the United Center on Tuesday night, here’s a look back at those five matchups:
1. Nov. 25, 2003: Kansas 81, Michigan State 74
Location: Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence
How it went down: The marquee nonconference game of Bill Self’s first season, Wayne Simien finished with 28 points while freshman swingman J.R. Giddens put together a highlight reel of dunks and finishes. No. 6 Kansas took a 38-31 lead at halftime and withstood No. 3 Michigan State, which was led by Shannon Brown.
2. Jan. 10, 2009: Michigan State 75, Kansas 62
Location: Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.
How it went down: The Jayhawks, coming off an NCAA title in 2007-08, traveled to Michigan State for a non-conference game in early January. The eighth-ranked Spartans blew open the game in the first half, taking a 37-18 lead, then held on for a comfortable victory. Kansas, which replaced all five starters in 2008-09, was still getting comfortable with a new-look rotation that included three freshmen — Tyshawn Taylor and Marcus and Markieff Morris.
“They’re going to be awfully good, still this year, but really good in the future,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said after the game. “If that isn’t a Top 25 team, I don’t know what is. That’s a very good team. We’ve played a lot of ranked teams and they’re every bit as good.”
3. March 27, 2009: Michigan State 67, Kansas 62
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis
How it went down: More than two months after meeting in East Lansing, the Jayhawks and Spartans saw each other again in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Michigan State guard Kalin Lucas finished with a flurry, scoring seven points in the final 49 seconds, including 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Michigan State, the No. 2 seed, trailed by 13 points in the first half, but held on in the second half, eliminating the defending national champions in the Midwest Regional semifinals.
Kansas guard Sherron Collins had 20 points; sophomore big man Cole Aldrich had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Fun fact: The best future pro in the game was probably Draymond Green, who had seven points in 21 minutes off the bench.
4. Nov. 13, 2012: Michigan State 67, Kansas 64
Location: Georgia Dome in Atlanta
How it went down: This was their first meeting in the Champions Classic. On the final play, Kansas trailed by three points and Bill Self called for the Jayhawks’ famous Chop play. The ball was supposed to go to freshman Ben McLemore, but he was caught out of position, and senior Travis Releford forced up an errant three-pointer.
The Jayhawks had led 35-32 at halftime before Michigan State’s Keith Appling took over down the stretch. Kansas, which was getting used to life without Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, would shake off the loss and win 18 straight games.
5. Nov. 30, 2014: Kansas 61, Michigan State 56
Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
How it went down: Perry Ellis had 17 points and nine rebounds as No. 11 Kansas edged Michigan State 61-56 in the championship of the Orlando Classic. The Jayhawks were just more than a week removed from a 72-40 loss to Kentucky at the Champions Classic. Freshman Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk added 11 points while sophomore guard Frank Mason had 10.
“They found a way to win, give them credit,” Izzo said after the game. “We found a way to lose, give us blame.”