CBS Sports: MSU is top hoops program in Michigan

The Detroit News

Which men’s basketball program rules the state of Michigan? CBS Sports says it’s a green and white state.

But, it’s very close.

As part of a three-days series looking at the state of college basketball programs in the country, CBS Sports on Wednesday released  its “United States of College Basketball,” where it picks the top program in every state.

For the Great Lakes State, it’s Michigan State. But, not by much.

“Yes, Michigan State beating out Michigan,” wrote Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. “Was there a tighter race between two powerhouses? Nope. Wolverines fans won’t love it, but in the end we think Tom Izzo’s a little bit better than John Beilein as a coach (different styles, for sure, and Beilein is great, absolutely) and we think Izzo will land just a few bigger recruits over the next five seasons. The Spartans landing 2016 five-star power forward Miles Bridges would be a biggie ... if it happens.”

CBS Sports says it bases its choices on three “major factors:”

■ Is the coaching situation solid?

■ What kind of young players are enrolled now?

■ Is recruiting headed in the right direction or not?

Michigan State is coming off a Final Four appearance — its 18th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and fourth in which it’s advanced at least to the Sweet 16. It also is expecting a strong 2016 class that includes commitments from five-star shooting guard Josh Langford and four-star forward Nick Ward, and could add a couple of more, including the aforementioned Bridges.

Michigan, though it missed out on a tournament bid last season, is just two seasons removed from an appearance in the NCAA title game, and reached the Elite Eight in 2013-14. It also is expecting a strong 2016 class that includes commitments from four-star guard Xavier Simpson, four-star center Jon Teske, three-star guard Ibi Watson, and three-star center Austin Davis.