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

Finally, something ON the court to talk about with Badgers basketball.

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

It has been a bear of a week for those of us who follow the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team. Just in case this is the first article you’ve clicked on relating to UW hoops here is a quick recap: starting shooting guard Brad Davison is suspended for this game, starting wing Kobe King decided he was leaving the team earlier this week and we all have basically spent the past few days shouting about it.

It will honestly be nice to finally talk about some actual basketball action instead of, you know, all of that we linked to above.

The Badgers (12-9 overall, 5-5 B1G) are hosting the No. 14 Michigan State Spartans (16-5 overall, 8-2 B1G) in the second game of their season series. MSU steamrolled UW a couple of weeks ago, weirdly lost to Indiana and then pounded Minnesota and Northwestern. Wisconsin, on the other hand, walloped Nebraska and then forgot they had a game against Purdue (we’re assuming) and lost a heart breaker to Iowa.

Not much has changed for MSU from the last time Wisconsin played them except for the fact that Malik Hall will probably start over Marcus Bingham. I doubt that will make much of a difference against a shorthanded Badgers team who will only have seven scholarship players available for this match up.

The atmosphere should hopefully be pretty electric with the Stripe Out, the fact that the students are back and beating a ranked MSU team is always a high priority on Wisconsin fans’ list. If the Badgers can bring the Spartans down into the mud with them, this game could be close and playing at home will definitely be a positive for the Badgers too.

How to watch/listen

TV: FOX, noon, CT, Gus Johnson, Jim Jackson

Streaming: FOX Sports Go

Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 386; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas

Live stats: Here!

Arena: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Line: Wisconsin +4

KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 47%

Fun facts (according to the media guides)

  • The Badgers are 8-6 at home against ranked opponents under Greg Gard.
  • Wisconsin has tallied five Quadrant 1 wins this season, tied for the most in the Big Ten. UW has now played 12 Quad 1 games, more than any other team in the country.
  • Saturday’s game will mark the 148th meeting between Wisconsin and Michigan State, with the series dating back to 1922.
  • MSU leads the all-time series, 83-64 and has won eight straight over the Badgers, including this season’s first meeting just two weeks ago, 82-68, in East Lansing.
  • Wisconsin leads the all-time series in Madison, 46-26, but the Badgers are looking for their first home win over the Spartans since 2016.
  • The home team has won 21 of the last 25 games played on a college campus, with the lone exceptions being MSU’s wins in Madison in 2012, 2013, 2018 and 2019
  • The Spartans are 3-2 away from home this year, but over the last two-plus years are 19-7 overall, including 17-6 in Big Ten play
  • In their first match up this season, UW shot just 35.6% from the floor (21.1% 3FG), while MSU was 46.6% FG. The Spartans also out-scored the Badgers, 38-22, in the paint.
  • The second and third leading scorers for the Badgers from that game will not be playing in this one.
  • Cassius Winston is one of only eight Division I players averaging at least 18.0 points, 5.8 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game

Probable starters


  • D’Mitrik Trice, redshirt junior, guard, No. 0
  • Brevin Pritzl, redshirt senior, guard, No. 1
  • Aleem Ford, redshirt junior, forward, No. 2
  • Tyler Wahl, freshman, forward, No. 5
  • Nate Reuvers, junior, forward, No. 35

Michigan State

  • Cassius Winston, senior, guard, No. 5
  • Aaron Henry, sophomore, guard, No. 11
  • Xavier Tillman, junior, forward, No. 23
  • Malik Hall, freshman, forward, No. 25
  • Gabe Brown, sophomore, forward, No. 44

Rock also wants everyone to know that it is national ice cream for breakfast day and the Chocolate Shoppe is making ice cream sandwiches with Greenbush donuts! Starting at 8 a.m. “Our Madison-area shoppes will offer a special breakfast menu consisting of fresh Greenbush Bakery donut sammies, made-to-order waffle sundaes, and specialty milkshakes.”