Buckets weren't hard to come by in the first period of the game, as junior guard Brevin Pritzl exploded for seven quick points and sophomore forward Nate Reuvers ended the period with eight. Following the review, Pritzl got two free throws, both of which he hit, and Wisconsin got the ball, which resulted in a Pritzl 3. Then Winston scored on a layup, hit a jumper and dished to Goins for a 3-pointer to give the Spartans their largest lead at the time at 49-46 with 14:30 left.
With the win, Michigan State moved back into a three-way tie for first place in the conference with Purdue and Michigan with only six games remaining on the year.
Wisconsin redshirt senior center and Wooden Award candidate Ethan Happ scored 20, but in many ways it was by design.
Wisconsin scored the first five points of the second half to open a six-point lead, one that disappeared nearly as quickly.More news: Measles outbreaks are the fault of anti-vaxxers, says World Health Organization
Simpson and Poole hit big three-pointers down the stretch, but being forced to foul, Penn State maintained the lead their lead the rest of the game.
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24: Head coach Greg Gard of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on against the Florida Gators during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2017 in New York City. Two jumpers from Wisconsin's Kobe King helped give the Badgers a 38-37 lead headed to the locker room.
In the second half, the Badgers struggled to establish an offensive rhythm and would not take back the lead after the 17-minute mark in the second half.
But in front a "sea of red" crowd at the Kohl Center, Happ's free-throw shooting woes continued.More news: Tencent investment in Reddit sparks censorship worry, United States News & Top Stories
"We have to be more complete when we get to the free throw line, get the ball to a high percentage area and be able to complete that". Kenny Goins and Nick Ward each scored 12 points while Goins had nine rebounds. Happ went over 2000 points for his career and is only the 4th player in Big Ten history with over 2000 points and 1000 rebounds.
Despite the game being on the Badgers' home floor, the Spartans enter the matchup as 1.5-point favorites. Wisconsin closes their regular season with six Big Ten games, four of which will come against teams with losing records in conference play.
Wisconsin: The Badgers, who had their six-game winning streak snapped on Saturday by MI, missed out on a chance to keep pace with the conference leaders.
The game is set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN2.More news: Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham are underestimated after beating Borussia Dortmund