MSU looking to start separating in Big Ten

Spartans one of five one-loss teams in the conference looking to get an edge early. MSU will have a shot Saturday to get an important win against Maryland

It is an early logjam in Big Ten basketball this season. With teams either four or five games into the conference season, Maryland, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan State.

So teams are fighting right now to gain any early separation they can find. For Michigan State, that means a chance to knock Maryland down a notch, while boosting themselves up with a win Saturday at College Park.

“The league is stacked up and this will be a good chance for us to get ahead and get the lead and get back on pace to what our potential is,” junior Denzel Valentine said.

The Spartans sit in a tie with Iowa and Indiana for second place in the Big Ten with a 3-1 conference record – just a half-game back from first-place Wisconsin and Maryland.

So a win would pull Michigan State into first place with Wisconsin, while dropping Maryland in the ranks of two-loss teams with Ohio State, Michigan and Purdue.

“It’s absolutely about separating ourselves and trying to get a big win against one of the best teams in the conference,” junior Bryn Forbes said. “That’s always a big thing.”

But on top of that, Michigan State has an opportunity for revenge against the Terrapins. The lone conference loss for MSU came in the first game of the conference slate on Dec. 30 to Maryland in a double overtime game.

So while revenge could be on the mind, senior Travis Trice insists the goal is just to come out on top.

“Our mindset is get a win,” he said. “At this point it really doesn’t matter how you win as long as you do. Just go in and win by any means necessary.”

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