March 10, 2007
Game Six March 9, 2007 United Center Chicago, Ill.
#2 Wisconsin 70 (28-4) vs. #7 Michigan State 57 (22-11)
No. 2 Wisconsin advances to play winner of No. 3 Indiana/No. 6 Illinois at 3:05 p.m. CST Saturday
Wisconsin is now 4-0 as the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament (BTT). The only other time that the Badgers have been the No. 2 seed was in 2004, when they won the BTT title.
Wisconsin ranks 10th in the country in scoring defense with an average of 57.5 points allowed per game. The Badgers allowed just 57 points to the Spartans in the victory.
In the past six seasons, Wisconsin has either advanced to the BTT final or lost in the first round. The last time that neither occurred was in 2000, when the Badgers fell in the semifinals.
With 21 points, Wisconsin's Alando Tucker set a new single-season program record with 645 points. The previous high for points in a season was 624, set by Devin Harris in 2003-04.
Tucker is also now just one point shy of tying the top spot on Wisconsin's all time scoring list. He has 2,146 points, trailing just Michael Finley, who tallied 2,147 from 1992-95.
MSU and Wisconsin played for the third time in the last six games. The Badgers have won the last two of those contests, 52-50 in Madison on March 3, 2007, and 70-57 tonight. The Spartans defeated the Badgers on Feb. 20, 2007, in East Lansing, 64-55.
MSU's Goran Suton scored 10 of the Spartans' first 13 points and 12 of MSU's 21 first half points.
Drew Neitzel needs five points to become the 37th player in Michigan State history to score 1,000 points. Tonight he scored 10. Neitzel's first points of the game did not come until 10:52 remained in the second half, when he sank a pair of free throws. His first field goal did not occur until there was 9:15 left to play.
The Badgers were held to 35.9 percent shooting in their first two games against Michigan State but shot 51.1 percent (23-of-45) tonight.
Wisconsin's Greg Stiemsma blocked a career high four shots in the victory, tying him with Mark Vershaw for the program record during a BTT game. Vershaw set the mark against Northwestern in 2000.
With its 28th victory of the season, Wisconsin added to its record victory total. Prior to the 2006-07 season, the most wins for a Badger club in a season had been 25. The Badgers are tied with Ohio State for the league lead with their 28 victories.
Michigan State out rebounded Wisconsin in the two previous meetings between the two programs this season. The Spartans out rebounded the Badgers by 17 in the first matchup in East Lansing and by four in Madison to wrap up the regular season. However, the Badgers won the battle of the boards this evening, 33-30.
The 11 offensive rebounds by Wisconsin vaulted the 2006-07 s quad into second place on the single season list. The Badgers have pulled down 363 boards on the offensive end this season, and trail the 2005-06 team which tallied 400.