Here are the top 4 teams in the Big Ten currently:
|#6 Ohio State||10-3||–||22-4|
|#8 Michigan State||9-3||.5||20-5|
With six games remaining for our Spartans, every game is potentially important depending upon how the other teams bunched at the top fare. Having successfully dispatched the Buckeyes on their home floor last Saturday(take that, Matta), the boys focus their attention upon the team from the land of beer, cheese and sausage. I like those three things just fine, but I have no love for the University of Wisconsin. The reasons are varied, but football season wasn’t that long ago, and I detest the style of basketball that Wisconsin plays. It is a play not to lose style as opposed to being aggressive and playing to win. Old school, tired, slow, grinding, work the clock ad nauseum. Back door cuts, screens, open 3 pointers. Ultimately simple in design but still effective enough to garner them enough wins to make the tournament and even do some damage there. Hey, it works for the Ivy League too, it’s just that nobody wants to watch it. Oh well, it has kept Bo Ryan in a job if nothing else and he has managed to do quite well against Izzo(13-7).
Of course the last meeting did not go well for the Badgers. In what was a hard fought game all the way, Wisconsin came out on the losing end in OT 63-60. The final shot of the OT, a 3 taken by Ryan Evans, was thought to have tied the game but after a lengthy review by the officials the shot was ruled to have come after time expired. Cue Bo Ryan’s meteoric rise in blood pressure. It has proven to be the correct call but that still doesn’t mean it has sat well with the Badger faithful. Izzo afterward: “I don’t know what happened at the end,” Izzo said. “Nor do I care. I thought we played well enough and earned the win, and that’s the way I’m going to look at it.” Most of the Wisconsin team shot poorly in this tilt, just 33% from the field and 5-22 from 3 point land(22%). The lone standout was Jordan Taylor who kicked in 28 pts. The Spartans were led by Draymond Green(18pts, 14 Reb) and Keith Appling(16 pts, 2 asst).
The Badgers’ only loss within the last month has been to Ohio State and you have to know they are gunning for the Spartans and looking to hand out some payback. The only problem for this lot from across the pond is that they are coming into the Breslin to play a MSU team that is firing on all cylinders. Three Spartans were in double figures against OSU(Green 12, Payne 15, Appling 14)and the entire team has embraced the hard nosed style of defense that has become an Izzo trademark. This will be another bruising B1G battle but our Spartans will come out on top once again and sweep the Badgers back across Lake Michigan.
Prediction: MSU 67, WIS 61