After Purdue did Wisconsin a favor by losing on Saturday, the Badgers missed a chance to move back into first place atop the Big Ten, falling to Michigan State 84-74 on Sunday in East Lansing, Michigan.
The Badgers (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten) lost for the fourth time in five games. It was also their 10th straight loss at the Breslin Center.
Michigan State (18-11, 10-6) continued to look like a team destined for the NCAA Tournament, winning for the fourth time in their last five games.
Nigel Hayes scored 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, but missed eight of his 12 free throw attempts. The Badgers as a team made just 13 of 25 at the line.
Wisconsin closed the first half on a 16-4 run to draw within one point at halftime. Zak Showalter helped key that run and finished with 15 points.
Bronson Koenig had 17 points but made just 1 of his 9 three-point attempts. Ethan Happ fouled out in the final minute with eight points and 11 rebounds.
Wisconsin hit just 17 of 36 shots in the paint, something that coach Greg Gard said was a downfall.
Despite foul trouble, Nick Ward had 22 points to lead the Spartans.
The Badgers trail Purdue by one-game with two left to play in the Big Ten regular season. Wisconsin has both of its remaining games at home, starting with a matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday night at the Kohl Center.