Preview: No.10 Michigan State vs. No.18 UW

Looking to bounce back after a shocking home loss at the hands of unranked Iowa, No.18 Wisconsin stays at the usually friendly confines of the Kohl Center to take on No.10 Michigan State, a team it has hasn't lost to at home since 2001.

No.10 Michigan State (13-2, 2-0 Big Ten) vs. No.18 Wisconsin (12-3, 1-1 Big Ten)

Date/Time - Tuesday, January 3, 6 p.m. Central

Arena – Kohl Center (17,230)

Television - ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen and Dan Dakich)

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)

Series – Michigan State leads 69-60 (UW leads 43-22 in Madison)

Last Meeting – Wisconsin won, 82-56, on February 6, 2011 in Madison

Wisconsin Probable Starters

5 Ryan Evans (6-6 Junior Forward, 10.7 ppg)

11 Jordan Taylor (6-1 Senior Guard, 12.7 ppg)

21 Josh Gasser (6-3 Sophomore Guard, 7.7 ppg)

31 Mike Bruesewitz (6-6 Junior Forward, 5.9 ppg)

40 Jared Berggren (6-10 Junior Forward, 12.1 ppg)

Off the Bench

1 Ben Brust (6-1 Sophomore Guard, 10.7 ppg)

12 Traevon Jackson (6-2 Freshman Guard, 1.6 ppg)

33 Rob Wilson (6-4 Senior Guard, 2.8 ppg)

44 Frank Kaminsky (6-11 Freshman Forward, 2.7 ppg)

Michigan State Probable Starters

5 Adreian Payne (6-10 Sophomore Center, 7.4 ppg)

11 Keith Appling (6-1 Sophomore Guard, 12.3 ppg)

22 Branden Dawson (6-6 Freshman Guard, 8.4 ppg)

23 Draymond Green (6-7 Senior Forawrd, 15.4 ppg)

30 Brandon Wood (6-2 Senior Guard, 10.3 ppg)

Off the Bench

0 Russell Byrd (6-7 Freshman Guard, 1.8 ppg)

13 Austin Thornton (6-5 Senior Guard, 4.2 ppg)

20 Travis Trice (6-0 Freshman Guard, 5.8 ppg)

25 Derrick Nix (6-9 Junior Guard, 7.7 ppg)

Last Time Out

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Iowa Hawkeyes started celebrating a few hours before everybody else on Saturday.

Freshman Aaron White scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half and fellow reserve Bryce Cartwright added 17 as the Hawkeyes stunned No. 11 Wisconsin 72-65.

"Any time you win on the road in this league, there's a celebration, there's an incredible sense of accomplishment," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said after his team beat the Badgers for just the third time in the past 15 meetings. "(But) this is the 11th-ranked team in the country, on the road, with a fabulous winning percentage here. I think our players know and understand what they had to overcome to make this happen."

Sophomore Melsahn Basabe added 14 points as the Hawkeyes (9-6, 1-1 Big Ten) snapped Wisconsin's 23-game home winning streak against unranked opponents -- the last unranked team to beat the Badgers at the Kohl Center was Illinois, a 63-56 winner on Feb. 9, 2010.

"We just came in with a definite mindset today to defy all the odds," said Cartwright, a senior who came in averaging 5.9 points and has been coming off the bench as he returns from a hamstring injury.

Cartwright scored 10 points in the second half, the last two a layup with 1:55 remaining that put Iowa ahead 68-60 and sent many in the crowd of 17,230 to the exits.

Wisconsin (12-3, 1-1), though, made one last surge.

Senior Jordan Taylor hit a 3-pointer and sophomore Ben Brust had a steal and layup that pulled the Badgers within 68-65 with 47 seconds to go.

The Hawkeyes worked the shot clock on their next possession and sophomore Roy Devyn Marble hit a jumper from the right of the lane with 21 seconds remaining, and Jared Berggren missed a 3 on the other end to seal Iowa's surprising victory.

"All we needed to do was get a stop," said Taylor, who had 17 points to lead four players in double figures for Wisconsin. "We had them where we wanted ... and Marble made a tough runner-floater right there off the right side. That was a tough shot, and he made it."

The Badgers, meanwhile, didn't make nearly enough shots. They had their second-worst shooting game of the season (34.8 percent) and were a dismal 3 for 28 on 3-pointers on the same day their top-ranked defense allowed a season-high for points. Wisconsin hadn't allowed more than 61 points in its first 14 games and came in giving up an average of 44.4 points.

"If you hit shots, it's amazing how much better your defense looks," Badgers coach Bo Ryan said after his team had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Last Meeting

MADISON — Only classic "NBA Jam" catch phrases can describe the whooping Wisconsin put on Michigan State Sunday as UW improved to 7-3 in the Big Ten with an 82-56 win over the Spartans.

Jordan Taylor — Unconscious!

The Badger point guard poured in a career high 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting (3-of-4 from three-point range), while knocking down 9-of-10 free throws. One more time: 30 points on 13 total shots. And of course he added six assists against one turnover.

Most impressively, many of Taylor's shots came contested with just seconds left on the shot clock. You cannot fault Michigan State's defense when Taylor would have shot 50 percent with his eyes closed.

"Jordan Taylor was unbelievable today, I think it was one of the great performances I have ever seen," Izzo said. "He made nine shots and four threes, and I think every one of them was a tough shot …

Jon Leuer — On Fire!

UW's senior forward did his normal thing, shooting 50 percent from the field and three-point range, converting on all four of his free throw attempts and grabbing six of the team's 24 rebounds as he finished with 20 points for the 10th time this season.

After suffering his worst game of the season at Michigan State, Leuer made sure to assert himself early in the post. He took and hit the first shot of the game, and finished the first half with 15 points on nine shots.

Combined, Leuer and Taylor accounted for 50 points. Michigan State accounted for 56.

The rest of the team — Deep From Downtown!

No defense can withstand the barrage Wisconsin put on from three-point land. Izzo said it was the best shooting performance he has ever seen in the Big Ten. UW knocked down 7-of-10 three-pointers in the first half and was 15-of-23 overall in the games open period.

Keaton Nankivil hit all three treys he took in the first half, including a fade-away shot clock beating three from the top of the key. Jarmusz hit the one shot he took. Josh Gasser, a 24 percent three-point shooter this season, swished one from the corner. Even Ben Brust drained a corner three to end the game that looked almost lackadaisical as the freshman was unsure whether not it was disrespectful to shoot the ball. In case Brust is wondering, Izzo said he was not offended.

Series Notes:

Under Ryan, the Badgers are 8-0 against Michigan State at the Kohl Center and 3-0 in neutral site games. Overall, Ryan's teams own a 13-6 record against the Spartans.

The Badgers have won 6 of the last 9 meetings between the schools.

At least one team has been ranked in 18 of the last 19 meetings. This marks just the 9th-ever meeting where both teams are ranked in the AP poll. The last such game was Feb. 2, 2010 when No. 16 Wisconsin beat No. 5 Michigan State, 67-49, at the Kohl Center.

Excluding neutral games, the home team has won each of the last 12 meetings in this series.

Bo Ryan (.712) and MSU head coach Tom Izzo (.685) currently rank 1st and 4th, respectively in career Big Ten win percentage.

Wisconsin Notes

Wisconsin has not lost back-to-back Big Ten games or back-to-back home games since a 6-game losing streak in 2008-09.

Since 2009-10, Wisconsin is 16-2 (.889) in games coming after a loss, which is tied with Ohio State as the highest winning percentage in the Big Ten over that span.

Under Bo Ryan, UW is 25-8 (.758) at the Kohl Center against ranked teams. That winning percentage ranks 4th in the nation over that span.

Despite their 3-of-28 three-point shooting, the Badgers rank 2nd in the Big Ten shooting 38.4 percent from 3-point range on the season, draining 121-of-315 shots from downtown.

Michigan State Notes:

The Spartans are a perfect 3-0 in true road games this year, but are looking for their first win at the Kohl Center since 2001. MSU will play four of its first six conference games on the road.

Michigan State enters Wisconsin riding a 13-game winning streak. Last year, MSU's longest winning streak was just three games to open the season. This is MSU's longest single-season win streak since a 22-game streak during the 1998-99 season.

In MSU's four games against ranked opponents (UNC, Duke, Gonzaga, Indiana), Keith Appling has elevated his scoring average to 15.0 ppg, shooting .514 from the field. If you add a game vs. Florida State, who was ranked earlier in the season, Appling is averaging 16.8 ppg against those five opponents. These figures are even more impressive when you consider that he scored just five points vs. North Carolina, fouling out in 19 minutes.

Over the first six games of the season, MSU shot .423 from the field and .238 from 3-point range. In the last nine games, however, MSU has shown dramatic improvement, hitting .511 from the field and .417 from 3-point range. The Spartans have shot over 50 percent in five of the last eight games, including two contests better than 61 percent.

Brandon Wood has hit his stride in the last five games. Not only is the senior transfer from Valparaiso averaging 12.0 points, he's adding 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.0 turnovers, while shooting .571 from the field (24-of-42), including .444 from 3-point range (8-of-18).


After suffering one of its worst home defeats in the long tenure of head coach Bo Ryan, Wisconsin has to find a way to rebound from one of the league's average teams to one of its best.

Having won 13 straight games, MSU is averaging 78.8 points and shooting .495 from the field, while holding opponents to 57.8 points on .366 shooting during its winning streak. Eleven of the 13 victories have been by double figures.

The last victory came against Nebraska, a game that should have a familiar feel to UW fans. Nebraska got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 12-4 lead just over five minutes, but MSU opened the second half on a 20-4 run to cruise in the victory.

Not surprisingly, the catalyst for Michigan State has been Draymond Green. Scoring seven double-doubles this season, the three-time team captain leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg), rebounding (9.5 rpg), minutes (32.5 mpg), steals (22) and blocks (19), while ranking second in assists (3.3 apg).

Wisconsin knows that beating Michigan State depends on how they defend Green. In UW's 64-61 overtime loss last season, Green scored a game-high 26 points and a team-best nine rebounds. In the one sided affair almost a month later, Green was limited to 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting and two rebounds. UW wins if it stops Green.

The Spartans are allowing just 59.5 points on .376 shooting, including .299 from 3-point range, meaning Wisconsin is going to have to start finding production in the post. These two teams balance each other out and match well in a lot of areas, which means Wisconsin needs to win the hustle plays and don't get so gung-ho happy from beyond the perimeter. It would also help that UW's transition defense, which was horrible against Iowa, gets back to form.

After that horrible performance over the weekend, I can't pick Wisconsin to win by much, but I can't pick Tom Izzo to win in Madison against Bo Ryan until he has done it. Therefore, I'll say Wisconsin by eight.

Worgull's Record: 13-2

Points off Prediction: 163 (10.87 per game)

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