Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten Tournament: Wisconsin Badgers to Clash with Michigan State Spartans in Semifinals

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

After blowing out their opponents in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals Friday night, the Wisconsin Badgers and Michignan State Spartans will square off Saturday afternoon for a chance to play in the championship game Sunday.

The Badgers come in playing some of their best basketball of the season, winning eight of their last nine games before the start of the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans on the other hand have been inconsistent, losing seven of their last 12 regular season games.

One thing is certain, never count out Tom Izzo and his Michigan State Spartans.

And Bo Ryan and the Badgers know that. Both these teams have provided some great games over the years, and this one should be no different.

This marks the third straight year the Badgers have reached the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament and the fourth year the Spartans have made it this far as well. Two years ago, these two teams faced off in the semifinals with the victory going to Izzo and his Spartans.

Let’s hope this one turns out differently, like it did earlier this season when the Badgers escaped with a narrow 60-58 victory at the Kohl Center. If you forget how that one ended, let me refresh your memory. Traevon Jackson hit the game winning shot with 2.1 seconds left to send the Spartans back to East Lansing deflated.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this game goes down the wire once again. Michigan State’s Branden Dawson is looking to prove to everyone that he is healthy after missing nine games earlier this season with a broken right hand. Dawson scored 16 points in the win over Northwestern and Gary Harris added 13 as the Spartans are looking to prove to everyone that they are healthy once again after being plagued by injuries throughout the season.

The Badgers and Spartans will battle inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with tip-off set at approximately 3:00 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on CBS and as always, you can catch it on the radio through the Badgers Radio Network.

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Tags: Big Ten Tournament Bo Ryan Branden Dawson Tom Izzo Traevon Jackson Wisconsin Badgers

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