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

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.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

By the Numbers:

Michigan St.


Ohio St.

23-7 (12-5)


22-8 (9-8)
















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

4:30 PM EST - CBS


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.


Ohio St.

Gary Harris


Aaron Craft

Keith Appling


Lenzelle Smith Jr.

Denzel Valentine


Sam Thompson

Branden Dawson


LaQuinton Ross

Adreian Payne


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.


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