Even with the added help of returning star Adreian Payne, the Wisconsin Badgers (19-5, 6-5 Big Ten), who had lost three-straight at home, were far too much for the outmatched Spartans (20-4, 9-2) taking down Michigan State 60-58 in the final seconds of Sunday night's match up.
Payne, who had missed considerable time with a nagging foot injury, previously returned but had his breakout comeback in Sunday's game against the Badgers by scoring 24 points and nabbing four rebounds. His three-pointer with 10 seconds left gave the Spartans a tie with the Badgers but Wisconsin's Traevon Jackson hit a jump shot in the final seconds to give Wisconsin the two point lead and, soon after, the win.
"That's sort of what they expected out of me is just to finish the game," Jackson said of his shot. "The pull-up was there, and I was blessed to be able to make it go in."
A last-ditch effort three-pointer shot by MSU from midcourt bounced off the rim and Michigan State had lost another tough and surprising Big Ten battle.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said not to discount the win as a surprising one for Wisconsin, who despite losing three at home, has been battling tough all season thus far.
"Just (because) they lost a couple of home games -- and that's un-American in the Cheesehead State -- don't kid yourself. They're a very good team," Izzo said.
Of the last-moment shot, Izzo said it went as well as it could have (despite not actually working). Jackson was just meant to make that shot and win the game for the Badgers it seems to coach Izzo.
"We executed that last 3-pointer as well as we've executed any play in the last 10 years," Izzo said. "I've watched two years' worth of Jackson hitting game-winning shots, so I put my best defender on him. And he hit another one."
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.