• What: MSU vs. Wisconsin
• When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
• Where: Breslin Center, East Lansing
• COVID-19 vaccination / testing policy for fans: To enter, fans ages 12 and older must have proof of vaccination for COVID-19 (either a vaccine card or digital photo of it) or have proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours. Fans 18-up should also be prepared to show their ID. Fans 17-under with adult supervision will not be required to show an ID. The mask requirement remains in effect. Also, concessions will be open, but limited to beverages.
• Tickets available: Select $10 tickets are available for tonight's game at MSUSpartans.com.
• TV/Radio: Big Ten Network/Spartan Sports Network radio, including WJIM 1240-AM and WMMQ 94.9-FM; Sirius/XM Ch. 195 (MSU broadcast)
• Records/Rankings: MSU is 17-5 overall and 8-3 in the Big Ten, ranked No. 17 in both the Associated Press poll and the USA Today Coaches poll. Wisconsin is 18-4 overall, 9-3 in the Big Ten and ranked No. 14 by the AP and Coaches polls.
• Coaches: MSU — Tom Izzo is 660-259 in his 27th season as a head coach, all with the Spartans. Wisconsin — Greg Gard is 137-74 in his seventh season as a head coach, all with the Badgers.
• Series: MSU leads 84-65 all-time. The Spartans won the first meeting this season, 86-74, on Jan. 21 in Madison.
• Betting line: MSU -4
C (30) Marcus Bingham Jr. (7-0) 9.7
PF (10) Joey Hauser (6-9) 7.2
SF (44) Gabe Brown (6-8) 13.1
SG (5) Max Christie (6-6) 10.0
PG (2) Tyson Walker (6-0) 7.1
C (22) Steven Crowl (7-0) 8.8
PF (5) Tyler Wahl (6-9) 11.0
SF (1) Johnny Davis (6-5) 22.1
SG (34) Brad Davison (6-4) 15.1
PG (23) Chucky Hepburn (6-2) 7.2
• MSU update: The Spartans are coming off their first pummeling of the season, an 84-63 loss at Rutgers on Saturday which dropped them 1.5 games back of Illinois and a half-game behind Purdue and Wisconsin in the Big Ten title chase. This is a big week —and really 8-day, three-game stretch — for MSU if it hopes to stay in the Big Ten title picture down the stretch. After hosting Wisconsin on Tuesday and Indiana on Saturday, the Spartans play at Penn State next Tuesday. After that, MSU gets Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan and Ohio State in a merciless 12 days, with the Hawkeyes, Wolverines and Buckeyes all on the road.
MSU continues to turn the ball over on a greater percent of its possessions (20.6%) in league play than anyone else in the Big Ten. The Spartans’ rebounding numbers, especially defensively, are starting to hurt them, too. But they are the best team in Big Ten play in 3-point percentage (40.2%), free-throw percentage (80.2%), 3-point defense (29.8%) and block rate (15% of opponents' possessions), per Kenpom.com.
• Wisconsin update: Since the Badgers lost at home to MSU on Jan. 21, they’ve won at Nebraska, beaten Minnesota, lost decisively at Illinois and won an ugly game at home Saturday, 51-49, against Penn State. In Big Ten play, Wisconsin is the league’s worst 3-point shooting team (31.3%), but turns the ball over on the fewest percent of its possessions (11.7%) of anyone in the conference. In 12 Big Ten games, Badgers’ sophomore Johnny Davis is second in the conference in scoring (20.8 points per game) and rebounding (9.7 per game).
• Inside the matchup: In the first meeting, MSU shot it well, rebounded well and defended with purpose for 40 minutes. If the Spartans do that again, they’ll win. They’ve got better depth of talent than the Badgers do, even if Wisconsin has the best player on the court in Davis. AJ Hoggard had a breakout game in Madison and Malik Hall showed he could be a go-to option. Just about everything went perfectly for MSU after the first few turnover-laden minutes. The Badgers will have Tyler Wahl, their 4-man who was out with a leg injury in the first matchup. He’s back scoring double digits again and had been on a run closer to 20 points per outing before the game against MSU in Madison. Wahl gives the Badgers more size, skill and a little depth inside. He can also stretch a defense, though he’s missed all six 3-point tries since coming back after sitting out the MSU game.
• Prediction: MSU made Davis and Brad Davison work for every bucket in the first meeting and was able to play a fair bit in transition. If those two things happen again, I like MSU’s chances. As long as one of the Spartans’ point guards plays well.
Make it: MSU 78, Wisconsin 73
Contact Graham Couch at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Graham_Couch.
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: MSU basketball vs. Wisconsin: Prediction, preview, betting line, TV