February 2, 2010

Breakdown: UW against Michigan State

If Wisconsin wants to be considered a player in the Big Ten championship race as the calendar inches closer to March, it will need to knock off unbeaten Michigan State tonight at the Kohl Center. If nothing else, history is on the Badgers side.

Before tonight's tip-off, BadgerBlitz.com analyzes the potential matchups between Wisconsin and Michigan State to provide a closer look inside one of the Big Ten's better rivalries.

Quick Notes:

-Tonight's game will be the 127th meeting between Wisconsin and Michigan State. Overall, the Spartans hold a 68-58 edge in the all-time series, but UW boasts a 41-22 mark in games played in Madison.

-UW has won four of the last six meetings between the schools, but MSU is currently riding a two-game winning streak.

-Under Bo Ryan, UW is 11-5 against the Spartans, including a perfect 6-0 record inside the Kohl Center.

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin
Michigan State Wisconsin Players The Word Advantage
Kalin Lucas vs. Trevon Hughes, PG When these two teams meet, the point guard matchup has been one of the best to watch. Both players have a knack for playing their best in the biggest games. Look for Hughes to rebound from a poor shooting night at Purdue last week in a big way in a must win for UW. Advantage: Wisconsin
Chris Allen vs. Jason Bohannon, SG In the first meeting, Allen torched the Badgers to the tune of 16 points. He has proven time and again that he is a lethal shooter from the perimeter. Bohannon will need to know where Allen is at all times, particularly in transition. The same can be said for Allen in guarding Bohannon as well. Both are two very capable shooters. Advantage: Push

Durrell Summers vs. Jordan Taylor G Taylor has the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the entire country. In league play, his 4.57 assists to one turnover is far and away the best. If he scores like he has shown he is able to, UW will be in good hands. Advantage: Wisconsin
Raymar Morgan vs. Tim Jarmusz, F Jarmusz has struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball throughout the entirety of Big Ten play. One of his saving graces, though, is the way he plays defense. He will be tested yet again tonight by one of the finer players in the league. Advantage: Michigan State
Delvon Roe vs. Keaton Nankivil, C If Nankivil was every more confident in his shot, I would like to know when. After knocking down seven threes at Purdue, Nankivil should be riding high. Because he hits shots on the perimeter, he becomes infinitely more difficult to defend. The only downfall is that when he shoots from outside, he's not in a position to rebound. That's where Roe has the advantage. Advantage: Michigan State
Draymond Green (pictured), Korie Lucious and Derrick Nix vs. Mike Bruesewitz (pictured), Rob Wilson, Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren, Bench Green is one of the more vocal leaders for the Spartans and Lucious boasts one of the better shots in the league. For UW, Bruisewitz will be needed on the boards and Wilson will be needed offensively. Overall, UW has slightly more depth than MSU, but the Spartans bench players might pack more of a punch. Advantage: Michigan State
Tom Izzo vs. Bo Ryan, Head coach Izzo has his team playing well this season. Considering the depth and competitive nature of the league this year, it is somewhat surprising there is still an unbeaten. But that credit belongs to Izzo and the way his team prepares. However, in the Kohl Center, he hasn't had much success with Bo Ryan around. And UW fans have to enjoy that. Advantage: Wisconsin

Extended notes:

-UW's Jordan Taylor ranks first in the country with a 3.89 assist-to-turnover ratio. Over the past five games, Taylor has dished 23 assists while committing only two turnovers.

-The Badgers are allowing just 57.1 points per game, 6th in the NCAA. UW also leads the nation with just 9.4 turnovers per game.

-Bo Ryan's 100-41 record (.709) in Big Ten play is the best winning percentage of any coach in the league.

-Tonight's game against Michigan State will be the seventh game the Badgers have played when their opponent is ranked in the top 25. So far, UW is 4-2 in such contests, with its only blemishes coming at Michigan State and at Purdue.


Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 8:00 p.m. CT


Madison, Wis.


Kohl Center (17,123)


ESPN (Brent Musberger, Steve Lavin and Erin Andrews)


Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)


Michigan State leads 68-58


Wisconsin: USA Today: 16, Assoc. Press: 16

Michigan State: USA Today: 5, Assoc. Press: 5

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