Michigan has taken on its in-state rival with first place on the line on two occasions this season — and both times, the Wolverines earned the Big Ten lead by outlasting Michigan State in the second half.

On Sunday, it was Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert leading the charge in a 79-70 victory, which was Michigan's sixth in the last eight meetings with the Spartans. Michigan moved up four spots to No. 16 in the AP poll Monday. Michigan State dropped five spots to No. 18.

The Big Ten title race often turns into a battle of attrition — and this year, Michigan is holding up just fine.