The No. 6 Michigan State Spartans (15-2, 4-0) look to extend their 15-game winning streak and remain unbeaten in the Big Ten when they visit the Northwestern Wildcats (11-5, 1-3) on Saturday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Michigan State sits alone atop the Big Ten standings at 4-0 with a big matchup looming on Tuesday against at rival Michigan. But the Spartans can't look past their game today at Northwestern against a Wildcats team that has played well of late despite their 1-3 conference record.
In their last two games, Northwestern lost by one at home to Illinois and then dropped another heart-breaker at Michigan on Wednesday in overtime. The experienced Wildcats will offer plenty of problems for Michigan State if they aren't ready to play.
Ready or not the Spartans will have to find a way to slow down Northwestern's senior forward John Shurna who leads the team with 18.9 points per game and can take over a game for stretches at a time with his three-point shooting. Junior win Drew Crawford also isn't shy behind the arc and is averaging 17.4 points per game.
Michigan State will need to get guard Keith Appling going while leaning on the stout font court to control the glass and set the tone defensively. Draymond Green leads the Spartans with 15.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
The game is scheduled to tip at 3:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.