Between their battles over the years on the hardwood and what transpired on the football field last season, there is a lot of bad blood between Michigan State and Wisconsin. Especially in basketball, the two schools have had quite a few intense games withvs. Bo Ryan being played up as one of the great coaching matchups in the Big Ten.
On Saturday in Indianapolis, this rivalry will add a new chapter as each school looks to advance to the 2012 Big Ten tournament championship game. Michigan State is in the semifinals after a blowout win over Iowa on Friday, whereas Wisconsin advanced thanks to a 79-71 win over Indiana in the quarterfinals.
The Spartans and Badgers met twice during the regular season. Both games were won by Michigan State, including the first meeting of the season in Madison on Jan. 3. The Spartans picked up their first win at the Kohl Center since 2001 with a 63-60 win on the road and added a 69-55 victory at home later in the season.
If Michigan State wins on Saturday, it will advance to the championship game of the Big Ten tournament for the first time since 2000. The Spartans last won the tournament that year, which gave them back-to-back titles. Since then, they have not even been able to make it to the final game.
Wisconsin's last Big Ten tournament championship came in 2008. The Badgers beat Illinois in the final for their second overall tournament championship. Interestingly enough, Wisconsin's first title came in 2004, also against Illinois, and both of Michigan State's tournament titles came against the Fighting Illini. This year, whichever team wins on Saturday will advance to face either Michigan or Ohio State in the final game of the tournament.
Saturday's semifinal between Michigan State and Wisconsin tips off at 1:40 p.m. ET. CBS has the broadcast of the game.
For more, check out the 2012 Big Ten tournament bracket and our StoryStream. For more on the Michigan State Spartans, go to The Only Colors. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Basketball hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Basketball.