The Wisconsin Badgers and the Michigan State Spartans will both be gunning for a victory on 2/26/2017 at 3:00 AM when they meet in a game matchup.
Wisconsin Badgers vs Michigan State Spartans
When: 4:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 26, 2017
Where: Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
|859||Wisconsin Badgers||1.5 (-110)||130 (-110)||-120
|860||Michigan State Spartans|
TV: 4 p.m. ET, CBS
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 72, Michigan State 69
Oddsmakers currently have the Michigan State Spartans listed as 1.5 point favorites versus the Wisconsin Badgers, while the game’s total is sitting at 130.
Michigan State looks to continue its push toward an NCAA Tournament bid when it hosts reeling No. 15 Wisconsin in a key Big Ten Conference contest on Sunday. Losers of three of their last four, the Badgers enter the matchup just one-half game behind Purdue for first place in the conference standings, while the Spartans are coming off a win on Thursday that has them within one-half game of a three-way tie for fourth in the league.
Ethan Happ is Mr. Everything for the Badgers, leading the team in scoring (15.6 points), rebounding (8.3), assists (2.9), blocks (1.5) and steals (2.6) during conference play to make him the only player in the nation to top his team in all five categories in league action. Happ (14.4 points, 8.9 rebounds on the season) and Nigel Hayes (13.4, six) really could dominate in the paint, where Michigan State is lacking in size. Coach Tom Izzo’s squad does rely on its freshman forwards, as Miles Bridges (16.3 points, 8.3 rebounds) and Nick Ward (13.1, 5.9) are the team’s top two scorers and rebounders. But the key for the Spartans will be cutting down on turnovers, which means point guards Tum Tum Nairn (3.8 assists) and Cassius Winston (5.4) must handle the ball cleanly against Wisconsin’s hard-nosed defense.
ABOUT WISCONSIN (22-6, 11-4 Big Ten): Although the Badgers weren’t happy with the result of their last contest – a loss to Ohio State – the silver lining was the breaking out of a slump by Bronson Koenig. The senior guard found his shot again, matching his career high with 27 points, while passing Ben Brust as the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers. Koenig had gone 8-of-36 from beyond the arc over his previous six games – having sat out a loss to Michigan on Feb. 16 with a calf injury – but was 5-of-9 against the Buckeyes, raising the hopes of those around the program that he’s ready to be the deadly shooter he was before his slump just in time for March.
ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (17-11, 9-6): With Eron Harris sidelined for the season with a knee injury, fellow senior Alvin Ellis III has been thrust into the starting lineup for the Spartans just as his collegiate career is coming to an end. Ellis showed his nerves while making just the third start of his tenure with Michigan State against Nebraska, shooting just 1-of-6, although he did finish with seven points, six rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. Ellis has been one of the most consistent shooters for Izzo in Big Ten play, so he’ll need to get used to starting in a hurry, even though his final game at the Breslin Center against Wisconsin could bring even more nerves.
1. Wisconsin has been outscored in the paint just five times this season, going 1-4 in those contests.
2. Freshman G Joshua Langford had his best game as a Spartan against Nebraska, scoring a career-high 17 points while matching his personal best with five rebounds.
3. Michigan State and Wisconsin both have a rebound margin of plus-1.9 in Big Ten play.