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3/4 Big Ten Recap: MSU Beats OSU

Recap all the Big Ten action from Saturday.

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Big Ten only had one game on Saturday, but it was an intriguing one with Michigan State hosting a resurgent Ohio State. The game would end up being pretty competitive.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-Michigan State Spartans 84, Ohio State Buckeyes 78

On paper, this projected as a one-sided matchup. While Ohio State was slated for a finish near the bottom of the standings, Michigan State was once again in NCAA Tournament contention and hoping to build momentum for March. However, things flipped in the week before the matchup, as Ohio State upset Illinois and Maryland and suddenly entered Saturday’s game with some momentum.

The game itself would start relatively uncompetitively, as Michigan State jumped out to an early lead and seemed to be on the verge of pulling away by halftime. However, Ohio State made things interesting in the second half and closed things up thanks to 21 points from freshman sensation Brice Sensabaugh. Bruce Thornton also finished with 20 points.

Despite the late push from the Buckeyes, Michigan State still had enough to get across the finish line and grabbed an 84-78 win. AJ Hoggard led the way with 23 points, seven assists, and three rebounds. Joey Hauser also had 16 points and six rebounds in the effort.

Michigan State improved to 19-11 overall and 11-8 in Big Ten play with the win. The win put the Spartans in a seven-way tie for second in the conference standings heading into the Big Ten’s remaining regular season games on Sunday. Given the tight standings, it’s impossible to have any insight about the team’s Big Ten Tournament hopes. However, odds suggest the Spartans will open things up at some point on Thursday. It’s just unclear when.

On the other side, Ohio State fell to 13-18 overall and 5-15 in Big Ten play with the loss. The defeat snapped a two-game winning streak for the Buckeyes and the first real signs of life from the program since early January. Ohio State is locked into the 13 seed for the Big Ten Tournament and will open things up on Wednesday. The odds currently suggest the Buckeyes will face Nebraska, but things are still in flux. Ohio State will need to win the Big Ten Tournament to have any hope at a postseason.