Michigan State Spartans and Wisconsin Badgers Featured in a Hot Rivalry

Seth NewmanCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2012

The universities of Michigan State and Wisconsin are currently engaged in one of the best rivalries in the nation.

The two teams played each other twice in football this season—once with Michigan State winning on the Hail Mary “rocket”. The second meeting came in the inaugural Big Ten championship game. Wisconsin came away with the victory in a wild shoot.

On the basketball court, the two universities just had another epic battle. No. 10 Michigan State (14-2, 3-0) beat No. 18 Wisconsin (12-4, 1-2) 63-60 in overtime at Madison.

The win for the Spartans is their 14th straight, and first at Madison since 2001. It is also the first time that Tom Izzo beat Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan at Madison.

The overtime victory featured a bizarre ending. Senior Badger Jordan Taylor had just hit two three-pointers five feet beyond the arc to make the score 63-60. Senior Spartan Draymond Green then missed two free throws with 4.4 seconds left, Taylor moved the ball up the court and shot another three missing, rebounded by Wisconsin guard Ryan Evans.

Evans tried to dribble beyond the arc for a fadeaway three. The shot banked in as time expired. It was ruled a basket on the court, but upon further review by the refs, the call was overturned.

The refs made the correct call as time on the official clock had expired with the ball still in Evans’ hands. The home clock still showed .2 seconds left.

The weird ending even puzzled Tom Izzo.

“I don’t know what happened at the end, nor do I care. I thought we played well enough to earn the win.” Izzo said.

Jordan Taylor’s late three-point surge helped him finish with 28 points. No other Badger had double figures in scoring.


Michigan State’s leading scorer was Draymond Green—who was in foul trouble most of the second half and sat on the bench. Green still managed a good game, filling up the stat box with 18 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. With Green on the bench, the Spartan’s turned to sophomore guard Keith Appling.

Appling answered the call scoring on contested layups. Appling ended up with 16 points.

Wisconsin continued its poor three-point shooting—save for Taylor’s late threes—the Badgers shot two for 20 beyond the arc. Michigan State didn’t even attempt a three-point shot in the first half, but ended up hitting two out of five in the second half.

The Spartans hit the glass hard—out-rebounding the Badgers 38-27.

The Spartans’ streak of 14 wins will next be tested against Iowa on Jan. 10th home at the Breslin Center.