The Michigan State Men’s Basketball team is opening Big Ten Play against the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers are hitting their stride amidst a five game win streak, including a win over Number 3 Marquette. The Spartans are struggling to find an identity and may be down one of its key players due to illness. This will be a big test for both teams.
Game Time: Tuesday, December 5th at 7:00pm (US East Coast Time)
Watch the game: Peacock (yes, only)
Comment and Follow Live at the GAME THREAD HERE (live at 5pm)
Some basics to sound like a pro:
The Spartans came into the season with lofty goals. Those may technically still be in front of them, but the near term goals are much simpler: play well for a full forty minutes and have their veterans play even close to their known potential.
November was relatively disappointing for the Spartans. The team had high profile matchups with college powers Duke and Arizona and lost both. On top of that they lost their season opener to James Madison.
The problems have come from familiar faces struggling to meet their past performances, particularly senior point guard AJ Hoggard.
Fifth year senior Malik Hall struggled early but has been coming on of late, though he may be out or limited in this game due to flu like symptoms. At very least, he won’t have practiced for a week come game time.
Coach Izzo came into this game planning to shorten his playing rotation. It may be tough if he is down Hall and others are struggling.
The Badgers are a truly consistent program. They seem to play the same high quality basketball year in and year out - even if it doesn’t get them championships. This year they seem to be playing that same great brand of basketball.
Despite early losses, they seem to have found their groove. Their win on Saturday over Marquette was a signature win for the year. This is a talented, disciplined team that is hungry to prove they are much better than their pre-season rankings.
Four of their players are averaging double digit scoring. Their sixth leading scorer, Max Klesmit, was on fire against Marquette posting 21-points. This team is dangerous on offense with so many players able to put up points. They will be a tough test for Michigan State’s defense.
BBD: 72-64 Wisconsin win
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