The Big Ten only had one game on Sunday, but it was a significant one between Michigan State and Ohio State. The Spartans were hoping to keep pace in the Big Ten title race and the Buckeyes were hoping to keep building toward an NCAA at-large bid.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-No. 11 Michigan State Spartans 62, Ohio State Buckeyes 44
While this game was clearly projected to finish in Michigan State’s favor on Sunday, it had quite a bit of intrigue leading into tip-off. The Spartans desperately needed to keep pace in the Big Ten title race and the Buckeyes needed to add to the team’s resume after falling flat against Illinois at home earlier in the week.
Early on, Ohio State took advantage of some underwhelming defense from the Spartans and was able to grab a solid lead. However, as the game continued, Ohio State began to falter offensively and Michigan State was able to close the gap at the end of the first half.
In the second half, Ohio State could never get things going off offensively Michigan state was able to pull away. Matt McQuaid stood out for the Spartans and finished with an impressive 14 points and four assists. All told, Michigan State grabbed a 62-44 win.
For Michigan State, this is a quality win at home against a team that remains in decent position to make the NCAA tournament. It also keeps the Spartans atop the Big Ten regular-season standings heading into a vital week for the team. Michigan State will prepare to face Rutgers at home on Wednesday before heading to Ann Arbor to face-off against Michigan on Sunday.
On the other side, Ohio State was sent reeling after being in decent position to steal a key road win in the first half. The Buckeyes are still in solid position to make the NCAA Tournament, but the margin of error continues to shrink. The team will return to action on Wednesday at home against Northwestern.