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Ann Arbor — The rivalry game between Michigan and Michigan State attracted a few big names ahead of the tipoff.

UM football coach Jim Harbaugh, who has attended two other basketball games, was seated next to Michigan’s bench, beside coach John Beilein. ESPN analyst Desmond Howard, a former Heisman Trophy winner, also made the trip, taking a moment to chat before the game with Harbaugh and interim athletic director Jim Hackett.

Former Wolverines Nik Stauskas, now with the Sacramento Kings in the NBA, and Jordan Morgan, who is playing professionally in Italy, addressed the team before the game.

For MSU, former Lions coach Steve Mariucci, a good friend of coach Tom Izzo’s, was in the Spartans section behind the bench.

The Spartans were looking to get their first win at Crisler Center since 2011.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com/detnewsRodBeard