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Northwestern vs. Michigan State GameThread

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

EVANSTON — Tipoff between Northwestern and No. 12 Michigan State is approaching in Evanston. With ESPN — like, actual ESPN, not ESPN2 or ESPNU — in town, Rece Davis and Jim Calhoun on the call, and students hype for the 8 p.m. tip, this is likely the biggest game Welsh-Ryan Arena will host all year.

It's also the third of four games on an extremely tough stretch for Northwestern. The Wildcats lost the first two at Maryland and Indiana, but get their shot for a signature win in the stretch's lone home game against Michigan State. A road tilt with Iowa on Sunday is up next.

As for pregame reading...

- Most importantly, here's how to watch on TV or online, or listen on local Chicago radio or Sirius.

- Michigan native Zach Wingrove previews the matchup between the Wildcats and Spartans. Included are quotes from Chris Collins and Tom Izzo.

- After six games on the sidelines and two poor performances, Alex Olah scored 19 points in 20 minutes at Indiana. Here's how.

- "It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when a losing streak transcends the normal ebb-and-flow of a college basketball season and turns into a troubling trend." Our Daniel Rapaport explores the importance of Northwestern nipping this losing streak in the bud.

If you're not at Welsh-Ryan, join the in-game discussion below.

Also, Northwestern women's basketball, looking for a huge upset, leads Ohio State at halftime in Columbus, 34-30. If you're watching while you wait for the men's game, let's get some discussion of that game going too!