Preview: UW vs. No. 9 MSU

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Badgers (18-5, 5-5) welcome the No. 9 Michigan State Spartans (20-3, 9-1) to the Kohl Center on Sunday for the lone matchup this season between the two rivals.
Wisconsin has dropped three in a row at home for the first time under Bo Ryan, while Michigan State. has yet to have a blemish on its road record this season (6-0).
Before focusing on this season's matchup, however, it is time to reflect upon what happened in the two meetings between these two programs in the 2012-13 season.
MSU 49, UW 47 - January 22, 2013 - Kohl Center
The Badgers rode a hot defense to start the game, holding the Spartans scoreless until the 15:11 mark of the first half. Unfortunately for UW, they were unable to get take advantage as their offense struggled mightily throughout the course of the game. Wisconsin did, however, manage to hit six three-pointers in the first half, but were only able to hit four shots from inside the arc. Despite holding two separate seven point leads in the first half, Wisconsin lead by just one point, 28-27, after 20 minutes of play.
George Marshall hit a shot-clock-beating three-pointer midway through the second half to give the Badgers a 39-37 lead with 11:49 to play, but the Spartans quickly responded with a 6-0 run and led the rest of the way.
The final 6:55 of the game saw the two teams go a combined 1-for-13 from the field and just 3-for-11 from the free-throw line.
Keith Appling led Michigan St. with 19 points and Branden Dawson grabbed 13 rebounds. Mike Bruesewitz, 10 points, was the only Badgers to score in double figures and
Wisconsin shot 16-for-54 (29.6 percent) from the field, 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) from three-point and 7-for-18 (38.9 percent) from the charity stripe.
With the victory at the Kohl Center, Michigan State became one of four teams in the Big Ten with multiple victories (2) at the Kohl Center in the Ryan era.
MSU 58, UW 43 - March 7, 2013 - Breslin Center
For the 43 days between meetings, the Jan. 22 Spartans vs. Badgers matchup was labeled as an offensive struggle. The March 7 meeting? That took the word "struggle" to a whole other level.
With 9:09 remaining in the first half, the score was 12-10 Wisconsin. That was on pace for a final score of 44-37 in favor of the Badgers. Looking back on it, the Badgers would have loved to score 12 points every 10:51 of the game as they failed to reach the 44 point mark - scoring just 43.
Michigan State lead 22-18 before Travis Trice drilled a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer, giving the Spartans a seven point halftime lead.
After allowing the Badgers to score the first two points of the second half, Sparty went on a 16-0 run to take a commanding 41-20 lead. Wisconsin missed 11 straight shots, while Appling scored 10 of his game-high 19 points during that span.
Overall, the Badgers shot 29.4 percent from the field - their lowest percentage in a game since March 6, 1999 - and committed a season-high 17 turnovers. The 16 recorded steals were the second-most ever for the Spartans in a Big Ten game.
Now, while Wisconsin is trying to erase the memory of what happened last season against one of its biggest rivals, the Badgers are still aware of the results.
"We missed some free-throws, we missed some things around the rim and we missed threes," associate head coach Greg Gard said. "I thought we played decently defensively, but we have to be able to convert when we have the opportunity."
"At home I thought that was one we should have won," Sam Dekker said. "I felt like we were in control for a lot of that game and we let one slip away."
The second meeting, however, left the Badgers coming away with a different feeling.
"At their place, they took it to us," Dekker continued. "That's one where we kind of wanted to get out of their as quick as possible just because of how we felt after that one. They took it to us twice last year and it kind of left a little taste in our mouth so we'll try to bounce back and not let that happen again."
In order to make certain that they have a different taste in their mouths come Sunday afternoon, the Badgers will need to make adjustments based on last season's performances.
"They played really good, physical, tough defense and we've got to do a good job of making sure that we get good shots off and not just forcing tough shots with the hand in the face," Ben Brust said of what the team needs to do better this time around. "They close gaps, they close out hard and they do a good job defensively."
As for what could be the x-factor in Sunday's game?
"Rebounding," Brust said. "We need to make sure we take care of the glass."
Game Info
When and Where: Noon Sunday at the Kohl Center
Radio: 1310 AM, 101.5 FM
Coach: Bo Ryan, 309-118 in his 13th season at Wisconsin.
Probable starters (height, year, ppg.)
1 Ben Brust 6-1 Sr. 13.3
12 Traevon Jackson 6-2 Jr. 11.0
15 Sam Dekker 6-7 So. 13.7
21 Josh Gasser 6-3 Jr. 8.7
44 Frank Kaminsky 7-0 Jr. 12.4
Key reserves (height, year, ppg.)
10 Nigel Hayes 6-7 Fr. 7.5
13 Duje Dukan 6-9 Jr. 2.8
24 Bronson Koenig 6-3 Fr. 3.3
Quick hits: Wisconsin is 13-11 against Michigan State under Bo Ryan, but has dropped five in a row, including three straight at the Kohl Center…During Big Ten play, the Badgers have five players ranked among the top 30 scorers in the conference. No other team in the Big Ten has more than three…Ben Brust ranks fifth in Wisconsin history with 197 career three-pointers. He needs 16 more to pass John Bohannon (212) for fourth place…Over the last four games, the Badgers are averaging a Big Ten-best 28.8 free-throws per game. After finishing dead last in the conference last season, the Badgers now ranks fourth in the Big Ten in free throw shooting, hitting on 74.1 percent of their attempts…In the Bo Ryan era, Wisconsin is 33-11 (.750) at home against teams in the AP Top 25. The Badgers are 9-5 under Ryan at the Kohl Center against top-10 teams - including wins against No. 7 Michigan State in 2006 and No. 5 Michigan State in 2010.
Coach: Tom Izzo, 459-181 in his 19th season at Michigan State.
Probable starters (height, year, ppg.)
10 Matt Costello 6-9 So. 4.6
14 Gary Harris 6-4 So. 18.2
20 Travis Trice 6-0 Jr. 6.6
30 Kenny Kaminski 6-8 Fr. 6.1
45 Denzel Valentine 6-5 So. 7.8
Key reserves (height, year, ppg.)
3 Alvin Ellis III 6-4 Fr. 2.2
5 Adreian Payne 6-10 Sr. 15.9
11 Keith Appling 6-1 Sr. 15.0
Quick hits: The Spartans have used 12 different starting lineups in the last 18 games, and a total of 13 on the season. Adreian Payne (right foot sprain) missed seven contests before returning to the Spartans' rotation against Penn State on Thursday. Keith Appling missed Thursday's game against Penn State with a sore right wrist and his status for Sunday's game is uncertain. Branden Dawson was averaging 10.2 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game for Michigan State before he suffered a broken right hand…Michigan State has overcome deficits of 10 points or more three separate times this season. The Spartans are a perfect 7-0 this season when trailing at halftime…Kenny Kaminski is shooting 51.0 percent (25-for-51) from the three-point line this season. Of his 24 field goals in conference play, 19 have come from behind the three-point line…Michigan State, with Gary Harris (18.2 ppg), Adreian Payne (15.9 ppg) and Keith Appling (15.0 ppg) leading the way, is one of just six programs in the country with three 15-point scorers.
Why you should worry: Michigan State is 10-1 away from home this season, including a perfect 6-0 mark on an opponent's home court (4-1 on neutral court). Opponents are shooting just 39.6 percent from the field against Sparty in such games.
Why you shouldn't worry: Wisconsin is 43-24 all-time against Michigan State at the Kohl Center, including an 8-2 mark under Bo Ryan.
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