The 2012 Big Ten Tournament will continue on Friday with the top-seeded Michigan State Spartans looking to advance over the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Spartans ended the regular season with a share of the conference title, but Friday's game will feature a bit of a different look for Michigan State.
Standout freshman Branden Dawson suffered a leg injury in the final game of the regular season, ruling him out for the duration of the Spartans' postseason run. That will be welcome news for the Hawkeyes, considering they're scheduled to take on Michigan State in a noon game on ESPN, as the Spartans look to solidify their resume for the NCAA Tournament.
The two teams battled just once during the regular season and, to put it gently, it was a disaster. Michigan State rolled to a 95-61 victory over the Hawkeyes, nearly doubling them up with a halftime score of 46-24 as Draymond Green scored 22 points in the victory.
The Hawkeyes were able to induce a coach-firing loss in the first round of the tournament, and they will need Matt Gatens and freshman Aaron White to step up once again if they want to keep advancing in the postseason. Even then, though, Green has looked like a one-man wrecking machine all season for the Spartans and could be tough to stop regardless of what Iowa's top players are able to do on the offensive end.
The winner of Friday's game will advance to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for a game between the winner of Friday afternoon's contest between Wisconsin and Indiana.
You can also find full coverage of the tournament in our Big Ten Tournament StoryStream, so follow along throughout the day.