In brief - Wisconsin-Michigan State preview

Badgers present latest tough hurdle in front of Spartans

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What:  Michigan State (5-6 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) at Wisconsin (10-2, 1-0)

When:  Saturday, Jan. 10, 1:00 a.m.

Site:  Kohl Center (17,142) Madison, Wis.

Broadcasts:  ESPN, Wisconsin Radio Network

Series Notes:  Michigan State leads all-time series 63-49


For the first time since 1992, Wisconsin starts the Big Ten season with their first two games at home and will host Michigan State today in an effort to stay undefeated in conference play.


The Badgers are riding high off a dominating victory over Indiana Tuesday night, a game which saw the Badgers limit IU to 15 first half points and restrict the Hoosiers to shooting 29.1 percent from the field.


UW junior forward Mike Wilkinson led all scorers with 20 points and also added 10 rebounds in attaining his first double-double of the season. Badgers' junior guard Devin Harris also had a solid game, tying a career high with nine assists while tallying 15 points in going over the 1,000-point mark for his career at UW.


With their strong, consistent and disciplined play, Wisconsin is paving a nice road to ride to the top of the Big Ten for the third straight season.


Up next for UW is Michigan State, a team that has stumbled from its opening tip, succumbing to an arduous non-conference schedule. The Spartans at one point had a three-game losing streak this season and are most recently coming off a loss to Syracuse last Saturday. The Spartans have already faced Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma and the Orangemen and now start the Big Ten season on the road against the defending conference champions.


MSU is led by sophomore center Paul Davis and his 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Junior guard Chris Hill, averaging 4.8 assists, will likely be matched up with UW's Harris as two of the Big Ten's best guards match up.


MSU v. UW by the numbers:


29 – The number of points needed by MSU guard Chris Hill to reach 1,000 for his career. His explosive scoring ability and strong three-point shooting give him the chance to attain such a feet in Madison.


4.3 – The Badgers' averaging rebounding margin this season.


22 – With a win, the number of consecutive games UW will have won at home.


9.1 – The number of turnovers per game for UW, the fewest in the nation.


0 -  The number of wins for MSU when trailing at half.

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