Denzel Valentine had 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, leading host No. 8 Michigan State to a 69-57 victory over Wisconsin on Thursday night.
"He got tired. He could've had a few more rebounds," Spartans coach Tom Izzo joked.
The Spartans (22-5, 9-5 Big Ten) went from eighth place in the conference into a four-way tie for fourth with their sixth victory in seven games.
"Hey, you never know what's going to happen," Valentine said.
Izzo refused to get excited about the Spartans' chances at winning a Big Ten title. "There's too many teams that've got to lose," he said. "We dug ourselves our own hole."
Michigan State's Bryn Forbes scored 17 points, and Eron Harris had 10.
The Badgers (16-10, 8-5) had won seven consecutive games dating to their victory Jan. 17, at home against Michigan State.
Wisconsin's Ethan Happ scored 18 points and Bronson Koenig had 12 with a scoring surge late in the game. But Nigel Hayes was held to a season-low five points, 12 below his team-high scoring average, on 1-of-13 shooting for the Badgers. He had 25 points in the previous meeting.
"Hayes will never have another day like that," Izzo said.
BIG TEN WOMEN
• NO. 25 MICHIGAN STATE 70, RUTGERS 67: Aerial Powers had 27 points and the Spartans (19-7, 10-5) came back from 14 down in the fourth quarter to beat the host Scarlet Knights (16-11, 7-8). • NO. 5 OHIO STATE 96, NEBRASKA 70: The host Buckeyes (22-4, 14-1) moved a game up in the Big Ten standings by beating the Cornhuskers (17-9, 8-7).
• IOWA 63, PURDUE 55: The host Hawkeyes (16-11, 6-9) scored the final eight points vs. the Boilermakers (16-10, 7-8).