Few mismatches exist within Big Ten play given the depth of the conference, though Michigan State is in the midst of a seemingly favorable stretch.

The 22nd-ranked Spartans seek their 29th straight home victory over an unranked opponent when they host injury-plagued Nebraska on Sunday night.

Michigan State opened league play with a 76-63 loss at then-No. 9 Minnesota on Dec. 31, but it responded with an 84-61 home win over disappointing Purdue on Jan. 5.

The Spartans (13-3, 2-1) then sent Iowa to 0-3 in conference action with a 62-59 road win Thursday. Nebraska (9-7, 0-3) also is without a victory in conference along with Penn State, which visits Purdue on Sunday before hosting Michigan State on Wednesday.

Branden Dawson scored a career-high 17 points Thursday for the Spartans, who needed a clutch bucket and four free throws down the stretch from Keith Appling to grind out a victory.

Michigan State is one of six ranked Big Ten teams, including three – No. 2 Michigan, No. 5 Indiana and No. 8 Minnesota – in the top 10.


Copyright 2013 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.


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