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For first time in 121-year history, Badgers playing on Christmas Day … during a pandemic

Rick Solem

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FILE - Wisconsin's Jonathan Davis tries to shoot past Nebraska's Lat Mayen during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

For the first time the 121-year history, the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team will play on Christmas day.

At 11:30 a.m. Friday, the No. 9 Badgers (7-1, 1-0 Big Ten) play at No. 12 Michigan State (6-1, 0-1).

It’s one of four Big Ten games taking place, as the unpaid college basketball players have to play on Christmas day during a pandemic.

The college basketball slate is also competing directly with the five NBA games, including Bucks-Warriors at 1:30 p.m.

Both Michigan State and Wisconsin shared the conference regular-season title with Maryland last season.

Wisconsin has nine consecutive Big Ten victories but is just 4-22 at the Breslin Center.

The Badgers had lost eight consecutive matchups with Michigan State before a 64-63 win at the Kohl Center on Feb. 1.

Michigan State is coming off a 79-65 loss at Northwestern in its Big Ten opener.

The Big Ten’s other Christmas Day games include Maryland at Purdue, No. 19 Michigan at Nebraska and No. 4 Iowa at Minnesota.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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