Ann Arbor — Even the best rivalries can take a break for a day.
Michigan basketball coach John Beilein heaped praise on Michigan State's Tom Izzo on Monday, after Izzo was named to the 2016 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class.
In a statement released to The Detroit News, Beilein said:
"This is a well-deserved honor for Tom. He has done so much for the game and maintained a level of success at Michigan State that is unprecedented not only in the Big Ten, but throughout college basketball.
"When I coach against Tom, I know I am coaching against one of the very best in the game.
"Congratulations to Tom and his family on receiving this honor."
Beilein, 63, and Izzo, 61, have had a healthy rivalry during Beilein's nine seasons at Michigan, with Michigan State winning 10 of 16 meetings.
The series has gone in runs, with MSU winning the first four against Beilein, UM the next three, MSU the next two, UM the next three, and MSU the last four, including this year's 89-73 victory at Crisler Center.