Nov. 18, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State is ranked No. 1 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll, both of which were released Monday afternoon. The Spartans collected 51 of 65 first-place votes in the AP poll and 22 of 32 first-place votes in the coaches poll.
Although the Spartans have been ranked in the Top 10 in 15 of Tom Izzo's 19 seasons, and the Top 5 in 11 seasons, this is just the second time under Coach Izzo, and just the third time in school history that MSU has held the top spot in the AP Top 25.
"I think it's a privilege," Coach Izzo told the Associated Press. "If we handle it well, we'll see how long we can hang on. And if we don't, we'll learn something from that. We don't get a banner or a ring for this, but it's good for our program. It's also good for the guys on this team to add to their collection of accomplishments.
"We've been in the top five a lot, but we haven't won a big game early quite like we did last week. We've earned this, but I know Kansas or Louisville could be No. 1 right now. Duke and Kentucky are really good, too.
"Being No. 1 now gives us a chance to see how we'll handle our goal of being No. 1 at the end of the season," Izzo continued. "We have to learn how to deal with the pressure and status of being where we are right now. But I don't think by any means this will be like playing with a 40-pound weight on our shoulders."
This is the fifth week in school history that MSU will be ranked No. 1. The Spartans were No. 1 for two weeks during the National Championship season of 1978-79, holding the top spot on Jan. 3 and Jan. 9. In 2000-01, MSU reached the top spot on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 (Dates according to NCAA Record Book). The Spartans have an all-time record of 5-3 at No. 1, including 3-1 in 2000-01.
Michigan State returns to action tonight against Portland at 7 p.m.