MSU at full strength this time vs. Wisconsin

After late loss at Madison, Spartans get another crack at the Badgers -- but with Appling, Dawson back in the lineup. Don't call it revenge, though, say the Spartans as they sound off on Saturday's semifinal.

Michigan State and Wisconsin have developed quite a rivalry in football and basketball in recent years. So it is fitting the team's get a second meeting this season after having just one in the regular season.

After coming up on the short end at Madison, the Spartans hope to come out on the right end with more at stake in Indianapolis.

Michigan State, after all, was without Keith Appling and Branden Dawson in the first meeting, which took a game-winner from Traevon Jackson for the Badgers to edge the Spartans.

Throw in an uncharacteristic 3 of 20 shooting performance from Gary Harris and it is easy to see why the Spartans would be feeling optimistic about Saturday's Big Ten semifinal and the chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 18 and 21.

"That's the plan," Harris said. "I feel like we are feeling good about ourselves right now and hopefully I can say the same again after our game tomorrow."

With Appling and Dawson, the Spartans rejoin not just a full group, but a group that can match up better with the Badgers.

"It gives Keith Appling the chance to go after he played good tonight," Dawson said. "It just gives him a chance to get his confidence going.

"For myself in that game, coach talks about me playing defense and (Wisconsin forward) Sam Dekker, he got out to a great start, so they are thinking me on him and doing the ball screens and switches."

But the Spartans didn't see the need to call the game a chance for revenge, even with the bitter late loss at the Kohl Center.

"Right now, we can't really worry about that," Appling said. "We just gotta focus on the task at hand, which is winning the Big Ten tournament and taking it one game at a time – no matter who we play."

Harris, though, was not shy to call the game "huge" for what is at stake, even if it isn't about revenge.

"We did lose there and it is either us or them that is going to play in the Big Ten championship game," he said. "I wouldn't even say it's revenge. It's just us trying to go out there and win this tournament."


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