No.24 Michigan State Spartans Favored Over No.20 Wisconsin Badgers

January 11th, 2011- By Bryan Cross

A Top-25 match up in College Basketball takes place in the Big Ten conference on Tuesday night when the No.20 Wisconsin Badgers match up with the No. 24 Michigan State Spartans in a battle for conference standing.

The Spartans (10-5) have struggled this season, but get the Badgers at home where they have played better.  It has been a rough beginning half of the season for Michigan State, who was a preseason top-10 team picked to contend for the Big Ten and National title.

For Wisconsin (12-3) they come in after a win over Michigan in their last outing 65-50 after being down at halftime and nearly doubling up the Wolverines in the second 20 minutes of play. Now, they know the challenge that is before them in going on the road to play at the Breslin Center. Wisconsin has lost their last five trips to Michigan State, last winning back in 2004.

“Michigan State definitely has one of the better crowds in the Big Ten and possibly the country,” remarked Wisconsin senior Tim Jarmusz. “But it’s exciting and it gets you that much more pumped up to play. It’s a good thing.”

The Badgers are led on offense by Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor.  Leuer leads the Badgers with 19.4 points per game, while Taylor is averaging 16.4 points this season Both will be focal points if the Badgers are to go into East Lansing and get a win.

“Jordan is that kind of a person, that kind of a player, which is why he’s put in situations where you can trust him to do things, because he’s done them before,” Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan said. “He works hard in practice to try and get better, both on the offensive and defensive end.”

The Spartans can’t seem to protect that ball, as they lead the Big Ten in turnovers per game, a statistic head coach Tom Izzo would prefer to be diminished. Michigan State is averaging over 15 turnovers per game and are shooting just over 65 percent from the charity stripe.

In the loss to Penn State, the Spartans connected on just 10 of 20 free throw attempts in a 66-62 defeat.

“It was one of the most disappointing losses of my career, not because of Penn State, but because of the way we prepared,” Izzo remarked. “We had one of our best weeks of practice.”

Game Line-

College basketball betting odds have set Michigan State as a four-point favorite over Wisconsin at home in this one, with the over/under set at 121.5 points on Bodog Sportsbook. The Spartans are 6-8 ATS this season, while the Badgers are 7-4 ATS.

Head-To-Head Trends

The home teams is 10-2 ATS in the last 12 match ups between these two.

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