No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Michigan State, 3:30 ET, CBS
Reasons to Watch: It's the championship. This one is for all the marbles. Both Wisconsin and Michigan State are mortal locks for the NCAA tournament. However, Wisconsin is pushing for a #1 seed and winning the conference tournament could go a long way in staking their claim. The Badgers are playing high quality basketball right now and seem to be unstoppable. Despite a halftime deficit, Wisconsin absolutely rolled Purdue to the tune of 20 points. Although Frank Kaminsky has been great, not one player carried the load. It was a total team effort and when everyone is clicking like that the Badgers are nearly impossible to stop. Michigan State, on the other hand, is coming off of a hard fought win over favored Maryland. Despite an off game from their leader Denzel Valentine, Michigan State won a close one and came out on top. Travis Trice and Brandon Dawson both played exceptionally well and now look to unseat the #1 seed Wisconsin.
Fun With Numbers: Wisconsin and Michigan State have only squared off once this year with the Badgers taking come the win, 68-61. Kaminsky had an absolute monster of a game with 31 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 3blocks. If the BAdgers can get a similar performance out of Kaminsky today its hard to imagine them losing. Michigan State's front court really struggled in the matchup. Between all 4 players who saw time they were only able to get 12 points. Michigan State is going to have to be able to score down low to free up space for their dynamic guards. However, guarding Kaminsky and Sam Dekker down low is tiresome work that could leave the Spartans drained.
Players to Watch: Obviously keep your eye on Frank Kaminsky. It's pretty hard to miss him. He will be the 7 foot national player of the year candidate wearing #44. Aside from Kaminsky, look Nigel Hayes to step up and be counted on for the Badgers. He has been playing high quality basketball and is growing into a leader on the court. For Michigan State, the three headed monster of Travis Trice, Brandon Dawson, and Denzel Valentine will look to lead the Spartans to victory today. All three play incredibly well together and have a knack for picking each other up when one seems to be having an off performance. Trice is the leading candidate to have a huge performance in this one for Michigan State. The senior guard from Huber Heights, Ohio will have something to say before this game is all said and done.
Prediction: In a showdown between two elite programs in the Big Ten, Wisconsin is too much inside for the Spartans to handle as the Badgers walk away Big Ten Tournament champions, 71-68.