Michigan State

Minnesota-Michigan St. Preview 1-25-12

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Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans. (File Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans. (File Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

(AP) — Michigan State is trying to regain a share of first place in the Big Ten, while looking to further erase the memory of recent back-to-back losses.

It would appear a meeting with Minnesota is just what the No. 10 Spartans need.

Michigan State seeks to continue its domination of the visiting Golden Gophers on Wednesday night.

The Spartans (16-4, 5-2) are tied with fourth-ranked Ohio State for second in the conference – one-half game behind No. 20 Michigan.

They can pull even with the Wolverines by winning consecutive games after losing two straight, including a 60-59 defeat at Ann Arbor on Jan. 17.

Michigan State followed that with Saturday’s impressive 83-58 win over Purdue, improving to 12-0 at home this season.

“That was a first-place game,” said center Derrick Nix, who scored 12 points against the Boilermakers. “We needed this win to group after two bad losses.”

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