Morning State Sports Briefs: McCarthy says playoff bye no advantageWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn't buying the idea that 13 days off is an advantage for the Atlanta Falcons.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy isn't buying the idea that 13 days off is an advantage for the Atlanta Falcons.
The Packers will be in Atlanta next weekend for a divisional playoff game, and the Falcons had the past weekend off with a playoff bye. But McCarthy says he's told his players he would rather be in their position -- having won three straight must-win games. He says playing well in that do-or-die atmosphere is good for his players as they head to Atlanta to face the NFC's number-one seed.
The health report is good for the Packers as they head into their divisional playoff game. Only a few active Packers are banged up, and all of those players expect to be on the field next weekend. Receiver Donald Driver bruised a knee in the win over Philadelphia. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins suffered some fatigue because of a strained calf at the end of the Eagles game, but also expects to see action next week. The same goes for Bryan Bulaga, who had a sore shoulder after Sunday's win.
The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team is nationally ranked now -- but that ranking will be put to a test pretty quickly. Wisconsin is ranked 21st by the nation's coaches and 20th by the sportswriters, after being unranked the previous week. They'll face perennial power Michigan State tonight on the road. Michigan State is going the opposite direction in the polls -- falling out of the sportswriters' Top 25 this week, and dropping to number-24 in the coaches' poll. The Spartans are 10-5. Wisconsin is 12-3.