Date & Time: Friday, December 25, 2020, 12:30 PM ET
Venue: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Michigan
The No. 9 Wisconsin Badgers are on the road to face their Big 10 conference rival, the No. 12 Michigan State Spartans, for a Christmas Day showdown. Both teams have only one loss to their record, however the Spartans' loss came in their conference opener against the unranked Northwestern Wildcats. This has dropped Michigan State from No. 4 all the way to No. 12, but for now they will be looking to make up some ground in the Big 10 standings at home against Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Badgers Preview
The Wisconsin Badgers are back in the top ten, and they are looking more serious about a Big 10 championship every day. With their only loss coming via a 2-point defeat to the Marquette Golden Eagles on the road, the Badgers have played solid basketball in each of their eight games. The Badgers are very reliant on experience with all five of their starters being seniors, and this experience shows on the court with their ball movement and decision-making. If Wisconsin can continue to play their high-IQ style of basketball, they should have the upper hand against the Michigan State Spartans.
Key Player - Micah Potter
The Wisconsin Badgers' team leader in points and rebounds per game, Micah Potter, will be their key to victory on Friday. Potter, sporting a massive 6 feet, 10 inches, 240 pound frame, has been a very physical force in the paint for the Badgers this season, and will need to work against the strong Michigan State defenders.
Micah Potter is averaging just over 13 points and 7 rebounds per game, but his most impressive statistics are his shooting numbers. Potter is carrying a 53 percent overall field goal percentage, including a 47 percent three point percentage. This does not even account for his equally impressive 85 percent free throw percentage. Potter is the definition of consistency for the Badgers, and they will be hoping for more of the same on the road Friday.
Wisconsin Badgers Predicted Lineup
Micah Potter, Nate Reuvers, Aleem Ford, Brad Davison, D'Mitrik Trice
Michigan State Spartans Preview
The Michigan State Spartans are fresh off of a heartbreaking upset loss to the Northwestern Wildcats in their conference opener. Certainly, 9th place is the last position the Spartans saw themselves being in to start the Big 10 season. Now, the Spartans will have a much tougher opponent, and must overcome their issues and battle against this very talented Wisconsin Badgers team to avoid a dreaded 0-2 start to conference play.
Key Player - Joey Hauser
The key for the Michigan State Spartans is to minimize Wisconsin's control of the paint. The Spartans will look to their big man Joey Hauser, a 6 feet, 9 inches, 220 pound junior for an answer to Micah Potter. Hauser is averaging 12.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and has been very effective from underneath the basket.
The big story for the Spartans going in to Friday's game will be the condition of Hauser. Hauser reportedly practiced on Wednesday morning, and is hopeful to play. The Spartans will be very reliant on Hauser's health against the Wisconsin Badgers, otherwise they will have a very difficult time stopping the Badgers in the paint.
Michigan State Spartans Predicted Lineup
Joey Hauser, Aaron Henry, Rocket Watts, Joshua Langford, Thomas Kithier
Wisconsin vs. Michigan State Prediction
This game is about as evenly matched as one can possibly get. The Michigan State Spartans are coming off of a very rough game, probably the worst they will play all year, and are out for revenge. The Wisconsin Badgers are on fire, and are hungry to stay on top of the Big 10. I predict a very fun, close battle, but I give the slight edge to the Wisconsin Badgers.
Where to watch Wisconsin vs. Michigan State
The game will be broadcast nationally live on FOX.Published 24 Dec 2020, 05:38 IST