Michigan State looks to open a three-game homestead on Wednesday when it invites Minnesota to East Lansing as the Big Ten's top two scoring powers collide for a 6:30 p.m. ET showdown on the Big Ten Network. The Spartans (13-3, 3-0) currently sit in a tie with Illinois atop the conference standings, but the Gophers (12-4, 3-1) sit just one game back from the pair of frontrunners.
Through 16 games, Michigan State has proven it has several different offensive weapons as five Spartans currently average in double figures. Junior point guard Kalin Lucas paces the Spartan offense at 15.6 points per game. No doubt, MSU will rely on depth in tonight's contest as the Spartans look to extend their home win streak to 10-0 on the year.
The Gophers are are averaging 84.1 points over the last nine games and 78.9 overall. Lawrence Westbrook leads Minnesota in scoring for the season with a career-high 13.6 points per outing. He enters the contest just 32 points away from 1,000 for his career.
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 57-56, including a 36-19 advantage in games played in East Lansing.
Series History: Michigan State leads, 57-56
The Big Ten will continue its opening stretch to the conference season when Northwestern plays host to No. 13/16 Wisconsin at Welsh-Ryan Arena, with tip-off slated for 8:30 p.m. ET. UW leads the all-time series between the schools 105-61, but NU holds a narrow 38-36 advantage in Evanston.
Wisconsin (13-3, 3-1) enters Wednesday night's contest after derailing Purdue from the nation's pack of unbeatens in an impressive 73-66 home win over the Boilers on Saturday. The Badgers are 4-1 against ranked teams this season, toppling Purdue (4), Duke (6), Ohio St. (15) and Maryland (21). Those four wins against AP top-25 teams are the most of any team in the nation. UW is one of four teams (Purdue, Syracuse and Texas) to beat two top-10 teams this season.
Jordan Taylor came off the bench against Purdue to lead the Badgers with 23 points, while Jason Bohannon added 20; but the Badgers suffered a significant loss in as junior forward Jon Leuer broke his wrist and will be sidelined indefinitely.
Northwestern returns home after a successful road trip at Michigan where the Wildcats overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the Maize and Blue. Bill Carmody's squad is off to its best 15-game start since the 1945-46 campaign (12-3,1-2) as the 'Cats continue to enjoy success on their home court with an 8-2 record at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Sophomore John Shurna leads NU with 17.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, along with junior Michael Thompson and freshman Drew Crawford (10.7 ppg.). The 'Cats are making a name for themselves around the perimeter as NU currently leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth nationally with an average 9.7 treys per game, while also sitting third in the nation with over 27 long-range attempts per contest.
The Big Ten Newtork will provide coverage of the border-showdown with Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris providing coverage of the action.
Series History: Wisconsin leads, 105-61.