EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — After a grueling non-conference scheduled that had Michigan State looking like they were stuck in the mud for parts of November and early December, the Spartans are once again playing some really good basketball.

After opening up with Northern Arizona, the Spartans played a murderers’ row.

First it was Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Villanova before traveling out west for the Phil Knight Invitational, which included matchups with Alabama, Oregon, and Portland.

It all caught up with them in a 70-52 road loss to Notre Dame in which the Fighting Irish couldn’t miss if they tried. The game after that, the Spartans hosted Northwestern at home and lost again. MSU has failed to make the AP Top 25 since.

Tired legs and nagging injuries were weighing MSU down. But a few days after the Northwestern loss, the Spartans found a way to beat Penn State, and now have won five straight.

Finally healthy, the Spartans are heading into a matchup with their arch-rivals playing their most consistent basketball of the season.

During the win streak, MSU has won games by nine, 18, 13, 21, and 18, albeit against a softer part of the schedule.

On the other side, U of M has seemingly found something after a mystifying loss at home to Central Michigan.

Since that defeat, the Wolverines have won two straight Big Ten contests by a combined 45 points.

Overall, the Wolverines come in at 9-5, which is one less win than the Spartans, however they’re 3-0 in the Big Ten, while MSU sits at 2-1.