This is Ohio State's first game since their first loss of the season, Saturday at the Kohl Center against Wisconsin. Ohio State's players reminded themselves as well as the media that they did not come into the season trying to go undefeated, they came into the season trying to win a Big Ten title.
No doubt about that, Ohio State still sits two games above second place Purdue and Wisconsin, who have three Big Ten losses, while everyone else in the Big Ten has at least six.
Michigan State would like to do nothing different then get a huge upset on the road and make the whole world forget about the struggles they have faced throughout the season.
Michigan State currently sits at 6-6 in the conference, and are right in the heat of things as they battle for the fourth and fifth seeds in the Big Ten tournament, which would give them a bye.
If the Spartans could get this win, it would leave the Buckeyes just one game up on Purdue and Wisconsin, putting the Buckeyes in a dangerous position, as they face Purdue on the road later this week. The Buckeyes also still have to face Wisconsin at home in the final game of the season. That makes this game so much more important to the Buckeyes.
Ohio State is lead by freshman star Jared Sullinger who averages 18 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. There are three other Buckeyes averaging double figure scoring. William Buford with 13 points per game, David Lighty with 12 points per game and Jon Diebler with 11 points per game.
Michigan State is lead by struggling players that were supposed to contend for awards such as the Big Ten Player of the Year award and the Naismith National Player of the Year award. Kalin Lucas is one of those, he isn't having too bad of a season averaging 16 points per game, which is a team best. The leading rebounder for the Spartans is Draymond Green averaging eight rebounds per game and adding 13 points per game. Durrell Summers also averages 13 points per game.
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Michigan State has the talent to win this game, they certainly were expected to give Ohio State a run for their money in the Big Ten, and what other way to prove that you are an NCAA Tournament team then by knocking off the third-ranked team in the country on their home floor? It would do wonders for the Spartan's confidence.
It definitely won't be easy, as Ohio State will probably be fired up after losing their first game, but it can be done. It isn't impossible. This is the only meeting of the season for these two teams.
Michigan State is the underdog by 12 points. Essentially, that doesn't look the best, but you really don't know what you are going to get out of this Spartan team these days. The entire conference, 2nd place through 11th place is rooting for you tonight, knock those Buckeyes down to size, before they do it to you first.