Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says the Big Ten tournament is going to be "big" for his team.
Izzo acknowledges in most years that's not true.
The 22nd-ranked Spartans will face the winner of the Iowa-Northwestern game Friday night in the conference tournament.
They have struggled to find a groove even with all of their previously banged-up players back in the lineup.
A string of setbacks slowed six players or put them on the sideline this season. Branden Dawson returned March 1, giving Izzo all of his players in a game for the first time in nearly two months.
Michigan State started the season ranked No. 2 and was the nation's top-ranked team for a three-week stretch in late November and early December before injuries and illnesses took a toll.