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Wisconsin at Michigan State: how to watch, game preview and open thread

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Merry Christmas! Hopefully all of your presents have been opened and it’s socially acceptable in your family to drink before noon because we’ve got a big one today folks!

Michigan State v Wisconsin Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers (7-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) are travelling to East Lansing, Mich. to do battle with the No. 12 Michigan State Spartans (6-1 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) on Christmas Day. The Spartans are coming off of a shocking 14-point beat-down at the hands of Northwestern on Sunday while the Badgers struggled early against Nebraska but left with a 14-point win.

This game, which is more commonly known as The War for Stevens Point’s Soul aka Trevor Anderson vs. Joey Hauser, will pit two of the best Big Ten teams against each other and will be a true test for the Badgers, whose only loss this year also came on the road. Despite MSU coming off a dispiriting loss to Northwestern, the Spartans are always tough to beat at home and probably even tougher to beat coming off of a loss.

MSU has already beaten Notre Dame and Duke this year but looked off in their last game against Northwestern. Rocket Watts, Thomas Kithier and Joey Hauser, 60% of the starting lineup, combined for 12 points while allowing the Cats to shoot 47.6% from three (10-of-21). This is yet another game where Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter will be the two tallest players on the floor and hopefully one of them will perform like NU’s 6-foot-10 Pete Nance (15 points, 12 boards, four assists) who dominated around the basket.

This game is traditionally one that gets chalked up as a loss when the schedule comes out, but with no fans at the Breslin Center perhaps this is the year for the Badgers to steal one.

How to watch/listen

TV: FOX, 11:30 a.m., CT, Brandon Gaudin, Jim Jackson

Streaming: FOX Sports GO

Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 84; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas

Live stats: Here!

Arena: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.

Line: Wisconsin -1.5

KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 60%

Fun facts (according to the media guides)

  • Wisconsin is looking to extend the Big Ten’s longest active conference winning streak, which currently sits at nine games.
  • Wisconsin ranks No. 10 in the NCAA shooting 41.8% 3FG and averaging 9.3 triples per game.
  • The Badgers lead the Big Ten shooting 77.1% from the free throw line.
  • The Badgers continue to stifle opponents on defense, leading the Big Ten and ranking No. 14 in the NCAA allowing just 57.5 ppg this season.
  • Wisconsin ranks No. 3 in the nation averaging only 8.5 turnovers per game. UW has committed 11 or fewer turnovers in 26 consecutive games.
  • Four different Badgers are averaging double-figure points and nine have scored in double figures in a game this season.
  • The game will mark the No. 149 meeting between Wisconsin and Michigan State, with the series dating back to 1922. MSU leads the all-time series, 83-65.
  • Last season, UW snapped an eight-game losing streak to MSU, claiming a 64-63 win at the Kohl Center on Feb. 1, 2020. That game was the Badgers’ jump-start to winning nine of their final 10 games. Soooooo, technically, the Badgers are on a one-game winning streak over the Spartans.
  • Wisconsin hasn’t won at the Breslin Center since a 68-64 OT victory in 2004. The Spartans are 50-14 against the Badgers in East Lansing, Mich.
  • Friday’s contest will mark the No. 12 time in the last 26 meetings featuring both teams in the AP Top-25.
  • Senior Trevor Anderson is childhood friends with brothers Joey and Sam Hauser. Anderson played with the Hausers in high school at Stevens Point Area, coached by Anderson’s father, Scott. Trevor and Sam were classmates and Joey was two years behind them when the Panthers won back-to-back WIAA Division 1 state titles in 2015 and 2016. HAD ANYBODY HEARD ABOUT THIS?!?!
  • D’Mitrik Trice’s older brother, Travis, was a 1,000-point scorer at MSU from 2012-15.
  • Tom Izzo is 32-21 in his career against Wisconsin.

Probable starters

Wisconsin

  • D’Mitrik Trice, 6-foot, redshirt senior, guard, No. 0
  • Aleem Ford, 6-foot-8 redshirt senior, forward, No. 2
  • Micah Potter, 6-foot-10, redshirt senior, center, No. 11
  • Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 34
  • Nate Reuvers, 6-foot-11, senior, forward, No. 35

Michigan State

  • Aaron Henry, 6-foot-6, junior, forward, No. 0
  • Joshua Langford, 6-foot-5, redshirt senior, guard, No. 1
  • Rocket Watts, 6-foot-2, sophomore, guard, No. 2
  • Thomas Kithier, 6-foot-8, junior, forward, No. 15
  • Joey Hauser, 6-foot-9, redshirt junior, forward, No. 20