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LIVE GAME THREAD: No. 17 Wisconsin at No. 10 Michigan State

Big Ten Basketball

No. 17 Wisconsin at No. 10 Michigan State






12-2 (2-0 Big Ten)

11-3 (1-0 Big Ten)

January 6, 2010  5:30 PM CT

Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich. 

TV: Big Ten Network (Gus Johnson, Steve Smith, Lisa Byington)

Radio: Badgers Radio Network (Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas)

Coverage: Our Wisconsin-Michigan State Game Page

All-time Series: MSU leads 67-58

Last Meeting: MSU won 61-50 in East Lansing (Feb. 22, 2009)

If anyone thinks the Badgers are sneaking up on the Michigan State Spartans tonight in East Lansing, Mich. then they are mistaken. Not only are Spartan fans at The Only Colors worried about tonight's game, but Pete Rossman writes in his game preview: "The data indicates a Wisconsin win, but there's no way I'd be able to live with myself if I predicted a Badger victory." He ends up going with Sparty 69-62.

Pete also crunches the numbers and you will be surprised by how similar the Badgers are to the Spartans statistically. He also gives Jon Leuer a big compliment, saying: "If you wanted to name him Big Ten MVP to this point, I wouldn't complain." (Although, we should note that Leuer's two Big Ten games have been his worst of the season).

The point is, Wisconsin has the attention of the Big Ten and isn't sneaking up on anyone. However, if you read some of the comments on The Only Colors, you will realize that the hate for Bo Ryan is greater than ever. Of course, a Badger win tonight would improve Bo Ryan's record against Tom Izzo to 12-4 (3-4 at the Breslin Center) and fuel that fire even more.

Keys to the Game

  • Stay out of foul trouble. Jon Leuer has spent more time on the bench than on the court in the last two games and has to avoid early fouls. Wisconsin won both of those games relatively easily, but that won't be the case against Michigan State.
  • Limit Michigan State's offensive rebounds. The Spartans rank No. 8 in the nation in offensive rebounding, but Wisconsin is No. 1 in the nation in limiting offensive rebounds. Wisconsin can't give Michigan State extra possessions in the Breslin Center.
  • Convert from the perimeter. Wisconsin's 3-point shooting is either on or it is off. This is a game where guys like Jason Bohannon, Tim Jarmusz and Keaton Nankivil are going to have to knock down their threes.

Prediction: Michigan State 59, Wisconsin 55

Let us know what you think as we get closer to tip-off. Both Jake and I will be here for LIVE commentary, but it might be a little slow at the beginning of the game as we will both be rushing home from work in time for tip-off.

Also, a quick note on the broadcast team tonight. Obviously it will be fun to have Gus Johnson on the call for such a great game, but be ready for a little bit of a biased broadcast. Steve Smith went to Michigan State and Lisa Byington is a local TV reporter for WLNS in Lansing, Mich.

Feel free to leave your comments and predictions below!