The Badgers play at Michigan State on Sunday afternoon with a chance to tie Purdue for the Big Ten lead once again. Tip-off is at 3:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS.
G: Bronson Koenig (13.8 PPG, 2.1 APG)
G: Zak Showalter (7.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG)
F: Nigel Hayes (13.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.9 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (7.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG)
C: Ethan Happ (14.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.9 APG)
G: Lourawls Nairn Jr. (3.9 PPG, 3.8 APG)
G: Alvin Ellis III (6.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG)
G: Joshua Langford (6.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG)
F: Miles Bridges (16.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG)
C: Nick Ward (13.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG)
Wisconsin looks to avoid back-to-back losses and dropping four-of-five after a two week rough stretch for the Badgers.
East Lansing has not been kind to the Badgers. Wisconsin has not come out victorious there since 2004, but the Badgers have won three of the last four of the overall series.
Michigan State has had a difficult time scoring this year ranking 12th in the conference at 72 PPG. Wisconsin has the number one ranked defense, allowing just over 61 points per game.
The Badgers stars haven’t aligned as of recently as they haven’t received enough production from enough players on a nightly basis. On Thursday night, it was Bronson Koenig who went off with 27 points, but only one other player (D’Mitrik Trice) was in double figures. According to Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, Koenig has been a certified Spartan killer in his time with the Badgers, including a 27-point game last season in a Wisconsin win.
Michigan State is led by two freshmen, Miles Bridges and Nick Ward. Bridges is one of the very best in the country, not even for just freshmen, he’s one of the best, period. He figures to be a one-and-done player and get picked very early in the NBA Draft in June. Bridges’ 16.3 PPG and 8.3 RPG lead MSU in each category. He scored 20 points in MSU’s win over Nebraska on Thursday.
Ward is smooth inside shooting nearly 60% from the field and ranks fifth in the conference in shooting percentage. He has scored in double figures in six of the last seven contests, including a 20 point performance over Nebraska. Ethan Happ will have his hands full on the defensive end covering Ward.
Senior guard Eron Harris is out for the year with a knee injury, which was a major blow for the Spartans. Harris was averaging 10 points per game.