The Michigan State Spartans are in desperate need of a win. That goes without saying.
Or at least it should.
The No. 10 Spartans (22-7, 11-5) are in the midst of a three-game Big Ten losing streak, a streak unseen since 2010-11 when they dropped a trio of conference games in middle-to-late January 2011.
After Sunday's heartbreaking 58-57 setback at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines, the Spartans face gut-check time Thursday when the No. 22 Wisconsin Badgers (20-9, 11-5) visit the Breslin Center.
Michigan State has lost at Breslin just once this season.
The Spartans narrowly edged the Badgers on Jan. 22 at the Kohl Center with a 49-47 win.
However, the Badgers have since willed their way to victory twice in extra sessions. They're battle-tested and certainly capable of boosting past the Spartans should Thursday's game be close.
Every game has a story, and the Spartans versus the Badgers is no different.
There are obviously several areas in which the Spartans have to focus on in order to vault their way over coach Bo Ryan's Badgers, but we'll condense those variables into a five-piece bundle.