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What to expect from Wisconsin vs. Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament

A trip to the conference tournament finals at stake.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Without the production of their first-team All-Big Ten forward, the Wisconsin Badgers still escaped with a 66-62 win over Nebraska on Friday.

Now, Ethan Happ, Khalil Iverson and the Badgers will need to find a way to upset the No. 1 seed Michigan State Spartans in an early Saturday matchup to determine who heads to the finals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan State (26-6) defeated No. 8 seed Ohio State 77-70 on Friday afternoon in a quarterfinal contest immediately prior to the Badgers-Huskers matchup. Foster Loyer contributed a career-high 14 points and drained four three-pointers in 18 minutes to help the Spartans advance to Saturday’s semifinal.

In their only meeting this season...

...Wisconsin (23-9) fell at home to Michigan State in a 67-59 loss on Feb. 12. A key five-plus minute drought towards the end of the game, poor shooting from deep plus making only five of 12 free throws ultimately hurt UW’s chances at knocking off Tom Izzo’s team.

Michigan State team stats

  • Points per game: 79.6
  • Opponents’ points per game: 66.0
  • Scoring margin: 13.6
  • Field-goal percentage: 49.0
  • Opponent field-goal percentage: 37.8
  • Three-point percentage: 38.2
  • Opponent three-point percentage: 32.3
  • Free-throw percentage: 74.9
  • Rebounds per game: 40.9
  • Rebound margin: +8.8
  • Blocked shots per game: 5.5
  • Assists per game: 19.1
  • Assist-to-turnover ratio: 1.5
  • Turnovers per game: 12.9
  • NCAA NET ranking: 8

Key KenPom stats (as of Mar. 15, 2019)

  • Team rank: 4
  • Adjusted offensive efficiency: 121.8 (fourth in nation)
  • Adjusted defensive efficiency: 91.1 (12th in nation)
  • Effective field-goal percentage (offense): 56.2 (12th in nation)
  • Effective field-goal percentage (defense): 43.8 (sixth in nation)
  • Turnover percentage (defense): 15.3 (335th in nation)
  • Offensive-rebound percentage (offense): 34.5 (22nd in nation)
  • Free throw attempts/Field goal attempts (defense): 28.3 (53rd in nation)

Michigan State playmakers

  • Junior guard Cassius Winston: 18.9 points per game (fourth in Big Ten); 3.2 rebounds per game; 7.5 assists per game (leads Big Ten); 41.4 percent three-point shooter; 83.5 percent free-throw shooter; Big Ten Player of the Year; 18 points on 4-of-7 shooting with seven rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes during win vs. Ohio State on Friday
  • Senior guard Matt McQuaid: 9.4 points per game; 3.2 rebounds; 42.6 three-pointer shooter; 12 points in win vs. Ohio State on Friday
  • Freshman forward Aaron Henry: 5.4 points per game; 3.4 rebounds per game; shooting 48.6 percent from the field; eight points in win vs. Ohio State on Friday
  • Junior forward Nick Ward: 14.9 points per game; 6.5 rebounds per game; shooting 60.7 percent from the field; eight points on 3-of-4 shooting in win vs. Ohio State on Friday
  • Redshirt senior forward Kenny Goins: 8.3 points per game; 8.9 rebounds per game (fourth in Big Ten); eight points, three rebounds, six assists in win vs. Ohio State on Friday
  • Sophomore forward Xavier Tillman: 9.2 points per game; 7.0 rebounds per game; shooting 60.4 percent from the field