Preview: Michigan State vs Ohio State-Senior Night in Columbus

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Spartans and the Buckeyes meet in a rematch of an overtime contest in game featuring some of the league's best seniors in their final regular season game.

By the Numbers:

Michigan St.

Team

Ohio St.

23-7 (12-5)

Record

22-8 (9-8)

22

Ranking

NR

20

RPI

27

13

BPI

14

16

KenPom

13

11

Sagarin

13

March 10, 2014 - Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio

4:30 PM EST - CBS

Skinny:

Today is the last day of the regular season for the Big Ten, and MSU and OSU can still change their positions in the final standings and with them their BTT seeds. If Michigan State wins today, and Wisconsin loses against Nebraska, the Spartans will take the number 2 seed in Indianapolis. For Ohio State, they can take the 4 seed and a first round bye if they win today and Wisconsin beats the Cornhuskers. The Buckeyes lost the first meeting with Tom Izzo's team in overtime at the Breslin Center. Going into that game, Ohio State had not lost all season. Now, they have lost 8 games total, including dropping the last two to teams in the bottom half of the conference. If Thad Matta wants to have any momentum going into the postseason his team will need a victory on senior night. Michigan State snapped their own two-game skid this week with a win over Iowa on MSU's senior night.

Projected Starting Lineups:

Michigan St.

Pos.

Ohio St.

Gary Harris

G

Aaron Craft

Keith Appling

G

Lenzelle Smith Jr.

Denzel Valentine

G-F

Sam Thompson

Branden Dawson

F

LaQuinton Ross

Adreian Payne

C

Amir Williams

Players to Watch:

Keith Appling: Appling led all scorers in the first meeting and finally showed a bit of a return to form against Iowa. His wrist injury is still bothering him, but the win earlier this week shows that he is adapting to playing with it. Michigan State needs him to play well if they want to win.

Adreian Payne: Payne has played well since his return from injury and when he plays well, the rest of the team usually follows. Payne has 18 points against the Buckeyes in the first meeting and could really give the OSU big men problems if he gets going today.

Aaron Craft: The senior and former defensive player of the year will likely draw the matchup on Gary Harris. It would be a very fitting end to Craft's career if he could shut down one of the conference's elite players, as he has so many times before.

Lenzelle Smith Jr: Smith is the other senior in the Buckeye lineup and although he had a disappointing stat line in the first game I think we will see him put up good numbers in his final appearance at Value City Arena.

Michigan State Perspective:

The Spartans are only playing for seeding at this point in the season. Even though they weren't able to win the conference regular season, a second place finish would be nice and could go a long way in determining what kind of draw they get in the NCAA tournament. Also, while both teams consider Michigan to be their biggest rival, you can bet there is no love lost between these two teams (as is the case with most Big Ten teams, if I'm honest).

Ohio State Perspective:

Senior night is a big night for every program, every year, but it is not every year that a player like Aaron Craft says goodbye to his school's fans. Craft has been the heart and soul of his team since his freshman year. His effort and enthusiasm make him the type of player any coach would love to have, and it would be a shame to send him away with a loss on senior night. We already know Craft and the crowd will be pumped up, if the rest of the team follows expect a Buckeye victory.

Prediction:

This should be a close battle with a lot of energy and effort from both teams. Their first meeting was one of the best games of the year and ended with a Spartan victory. I don't see this time going any differently. Michigan State 70 Ohio State 68

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join BT Powerhouse

You must be a member of BT Powerhouse to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at BT Powerhouse. You should read them.

Join BT Powerhouse

You must be a member of BT Powerhouse to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at BT Powerhouse. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker