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GAME THREAD: MICHIGAN STATE VS. PENN STATE

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So, it's a bit of a surprise playing a team in blue instead of a team in red today.  This is probably a good thing: empirically, Wisconsin is a better team than Penn State, and while MSU has lost games to the Lions in recent years (including this year), those difficulties are nothing compared to the struggles MSU has had against the Badgers in the Bo Ryan era.  Games against Wisconsin are always emotional affairs for MSU, and no doubt avoiding the Badgers means that MSU will be less exhausted heading into the BTT championship and/or the opening rounds of the big Tournament.

Nonethless, MSU is only 4-2 against the Lions in the past three years, and many of the wins have been been of the nail-biter variety.  As always, Talor Battle is the Lions' headliner, but Jeff Brooks (who should have been on one of the all-Big Ten teams) is a big threat down low, and performed very well against MSU in January.  This game clearly means more to Penn State than to MSU: many bracketologists have PSU as one of the last 4 teams in, a position which very well may be compromised with a loss today.  Conversely, MSU is probably safe at this point, but winning this tournament would bring more than a modicum of redemption to an otherwise disappointing season.  You know Lucas, Green, Roe, Summers, Kebler, and the rest want this badly.

KenPom likes MSU to win, 62-61.  This "winning in the Big Ten Tournament" feeling is at once unfamiliar and quite  enjoyable.  Let's keep it rolling.