Michigan St.-Minnesota Preview 2-22-12

(AP) — Michigan State sits atop the Big Ten standings due in large to the play of Draymond Green, who is making a strong case as the conference’s player of the year.

Minnesota is well aware of Green’s capabilities.

The sixth-ranked Spartans seek a sixth consecutive regular-season sweep of the Golden Gophers by earning their fifth straight win at Williams Arena on Wednesday night.

Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) hasn’t won an outright regular-season conference title since 2008-09, when the Spartans eventually fell to North Carolina in the national championship game in Green’s freshman year.

Coach Tom Izzo believes he has one of his best teams in East Lansing – including his six Final Four participants – though he won’t celebrate until the goals are accomplished.

“We’re happy where we are, but we realize we’ve got a lot of work to do if we’re going to compete for this thing in the end,” Izzo said.

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