The Big Ten's All But Over Race and the Week To Come

Nick SheSenior Analyst IFebruary 1, 2010

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Can Michigan State (19-3, 9-0) remain perfect in the Big Ten after they travel to Wisconsin (16-5, 6-3) on Tuesday night?

The Spartans won the first meeting of the two in East Lansing last month as Chris Allen led MSU with 16 points and Kalin Lucas added 10 himself. More importantly, the Spartans guards held Trevon Hughes to just seven points after a 3-of-13 shooting night from the floor and out-rebounded the Badgers 38-23.

Lucas, Allen, and Durrell Summers have put up an average of 36.1 points and 7.4 assists-per-game this season for the Spartans. The Badger guards are nearly a mirror image in the stats department as Hughes, Jason Bohannon, and Jordan Taylor average 35.9 points and 8.4 assists per night.

The key, again, for Michigan State to win this game will be to slow down Hughes and control the boards. Teams are shooting only 39.5 percent from the field against Michigan State this season, best in the conference, while the Spartans also lead the conference in rebounding, getting 44 boards on average per night.

Second chance points are not the Badgers' strong suit as they average only 9.3 offensive rebounds a game. Michigan State conversely leads the conference with 14.4 second-chance points a game.

Many have stated that this game points to being Michigan State's first loss in the Big Ten this season, much because of the Spartans' near defeats at Minnesota and Michigan in recent games. Even with the home court advantage of the Kohl Center in Madison, I will take the Spartans with a big performance from Draymond Green (third best rebounder in the conference) being the reason MSU stays unbeaten in the Big Ten.


MSU 61   Wisconsin 56