Michigan State vs Wisconsin - Preview and Game Thread

Loading Scores
Your MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS vs the WISCONSIN BADGERS
BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012, 1:40 PM EST
TV: CBS
ONLINE RADIO FEED: Spartan Sports Network

After Friday's rout of Iowa a familiar opponent faces Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semi-finals. The Spartans have already beaten the Badgers twice this year but will have to do it again to have a shot to win the school's first Big Ten Tournament since the National Championship Year of 2000.

2000 was also the last time MSU beat Wisconsin three times in a year. They added a fourth in the Final Four on the way to the title. Although winning at the Kohl Center this year was a significant milestone for Tom Izzo and the Spartans, there are still demons to be exorcised. Izzo has never beaten Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan in the Big Ten tournament. The win in 2000 came against Dick Bennett and Izzo has gone 0-3 against the Badgers since then, including the gut-wrenching loss in 2008 when Michael Flowers' steal and layup capped a Wisconsin comeback that featured four Spartans fouling out.

Bo Ryan
Photo Credit: USPRESSWIRE
Mary Langenfeld

Not much in the way of a preview is needed for this one. The Badgers are the same team they've been all year. They play at the slowest pace of any major conference team and show great discipline and poise. Their record is 24-8 (12-6 in conference) and they just missed out on a fourth share of the Big Ten regular season title. They're ranked 14th by the AP and 12th in the coaches' poll. They've done it more with defense this year than in recent years (3rd best defensive efficiency in the country) but they can still score points, led by all-Big Ten point guard Jordan Taylor. The previous game between the two teams was a convincing 14-point win for MSU at the Breslin Center, where the Spartans scored 69 points in only 59 possessions, the best offensive game any opponent has put up against the Badgers this year.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the surprising 30-point performance put up by reserve senior Rob Wilson in the Badgers' quarterfinal win over Indiana. With two career starts and averaging 11 minutes and under 4 points per game it would be quite a story if he were to do something similar against MSU heading into the NCAA tournament. The rest of the story, though, was Wisconsin's overall 13-26 shooting from beyond the arc. Wisconsin has lived or died from the perimeter this year and MSU will need to keep it closer to the 10-46 combined they shot in the two matchups this season.

Should be a tough, physical battle as MSU looks to return the Big Ten title game for the first time since the magical 2000 season. This is the game thread so the usual rules apply: be civil and enjoy the game.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Only Colors

You must be a member of The Only Colors to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Only Colors. You should read them.

Join The Only Colors

You must be a member of The Only Colors to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Only Colors. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker