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75 Days to B1G Basketball: Northwestern Wins in Spain, Michigan State Falls to Italy

The Big Ten went 1-1 overseas yesterday.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten still has two teams overseas in Northwestern and Michigan State, both of which were in action yesterday. When everything was said and done the two Big Ten programs went 1-1 on the day, with Northwestern beating CB Tarragona 85-62 and Michigan State dropping another game, this time to Italy by 21 points.

Northwestern demolishes CB Tarragona 85-62

While the Spartans are dealing with some more difficult national teams, the Wildcats faced off against CB Tarragona in Spain. The game started off relatively close, with the two teams going back and forth in the first half before the Wildcats secured a 40-32 lead at the intermission. However, Northwestern pulled away in the second half on their way to an easy enough 23 point victory.

The team was led by senior Tre Demps, who went absolutely off for the Wildcats. Leading the team with a whopping 38 points and six three pointers, Demps had a huge day and helped spark the 18-2 run in the second half that kept the game out of reach.  Also having a big day was Alex Olah, who scored 19 points and was key to answering CB Tarragona's last run in the fourth when they cut the lead down to 10.

Closing out the Wildcats trip in Spain will be one more game when they face US Toulouges later this morning.

Michigan State falls to Italy 69-90

The Spartans, who are facing off this weekend against three different national teams, almost found a way to comeback against Italy, narrowing the deficit to five points halfway through the fourth, but a late run for Italy helped secure a 21 point victory for State's opponent.

Similar to their game on Friday against Russia, the Spartans once again struggled heavily with turnovers, committing an atrocious 23 turnovers (compared to only 10 assists). Besides being sloppy with the ball, their opponent also happened to hit 58% of their 24 three pointers. It should probably be noted, though, that it appears Tom Izzo is using these games  mainly to experiment with different lineups, making it even more difficult for the team to compete with their national team opponents. Even more so when you realize that the team is without Eron Harris and Alvin Ellis III, two players that should see plenty of playing time this season.

The Spartans will continue today with another game, this time squaring off against the Georgia national team. Georgia is the lowest ranked of the three national teams, so it should be the most winnable game the Spartans are participating in this weekend.