If you didn’t get your fill of basketball action on Martin Luther King Day yesterday, fear not. College basketball serves up an extensive slate of games on Tuesday, including six involving teams ranked in this week’s AP Top 25.
Casino Review has filtered through these and brings you a preview of two of the biggest on the schedule, starting with the Spartans hitting the road.
#13 Michigan State @ Wisconsin
7:00 PM ET
How do you follow up a win over Indiana? Wisconsin (13-5, 4-1 Big Ten) answered that question with a loss to Iowa on Saturday, which may be proof enough that the Badgers aren’t quite ready to contend in a loaded Big Ten just yet.
Michigan State (16-3, 5-1 Big Ten) meanwhile is riding a five-game winning streak into Madison, Wis. That streak makes up part of an 11-1 run since the beginning of December. The Spartans now look to retain their spot at the top of the conference.
Both sides have been defensively-minded this season. Michigan State has conceded 58.4 points per game while Wisconsin has allowed just 55.8. The two sides matchup evenly in scoring and on the boards, as well as in assists and blocks.
The Spartans have the advantage in field goal percentage, shooting 46.8 percent, good enough for 39th in the nation. But Wisconsin is better from beyond the arc as well as looking after the ball. The Badgers have turned the ball over just 163 times this season, which puts the side third in the nation.
Michigan State has posted a 41-28 record over the Badgers since 1979.
Last Season: Michigan State scored a triumvirate of wins over Wisconsin, beating the Badgers twice during the regular season and then again in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.
Odds: Wisconsin is a 4½-point favorite at home, with the over/under at 123.
Take: MICHIGAN STATE – Bookmakers have taken a look at the Spartans’ 3-2 road record and considered the team unlikely to defeat the Badgers, who are 10-1 at home. Michigan State however outranks Wisconsin on enough levels to make this less clear-cut than a 4½-point spread would suggest. Take the Spartans to score the road victory and upset the spread. Take the total to go under behind both sides’ tough defense.
#3 Kansas @ # 11 Kansas State
8:00 PM ET
It’s the biggest game of the season so far, and perhaps the biggest the Big 12 has seen so far, so both Kansas (16-1, 4-0 Big 12) and Kansas State (15-2, 4-0 Big 12) will be eager to score a victory on Tuesday night.
The two sides have both impressed this season, with just three losses between them, and all to AP-ranked opposition. The Jayhawks dropped a very early game to Michigan State, but has won 15 straight since. The Wildcats fell to Michigan in December and Gonzaga in January, and are looking to extend an eight-game winning streak.
Kansas has owned the Wildcats in this series historically, running-up a 68-17 record.
Both sides have performed well defensively this year, with the Jayhawks giving up just 59.3 points per game, and ranking second in the nation with 136 blocks. The Wildcats have been even stingier on defense, giving up a paltry 57.3 points per game. Don’t expect this to be a shootout.
Kansas will look to take advantage of a superior record when it comes to shooting, scoring, and rebounding.
Last Season: Kansas won both meetings between the sides last season, including a 59-53 win in Manhattan.
Odds: Kansas is favored (-2½) heading into this one. The total stands at 127.
Take: KANSAS – The Jayhawks have had the Wildcats’ number of late, so take the side to remain unbeaten on the road whilst handing Kansas State its first home loss. Neither side is stellar against the spread so take Kansas (7-9-0 ATS) to edge out Kansas State (6-7-0 ATS) and the spread. Take the low total to go under, as is prevalent with both these sides.
AP Top 25 Schedule (Tuesday)
#3 Kansas @ #11 Kansas State
#5 Louisville @ Villanova
#13 Michigan State @ Wisconsin
Iowa @ #14 Ohio State
#18 North Carolina State @ Wake Forest
South Carolina @ #22 Missouri