Big Ten Tournament Finals Preview

EAST LANSING, MI - MARCH 04: William Buford #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drives the ball around Austin Thornton #13 of the Michigan State Spartans during the second half of the game at Breslin Center on March 4, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State defeated Michigan State Spartans 72-70 and won a share of the Big Ten Title. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

On Sunday, the fourth, and final, day of the Big Ten Tournament will tip off in Indianapolis, Indiana. Michigan State will meet Ohio State. While most of the Big Ten teams know where they will be headed after Sunday, a few are looking to still make their case for post-season play.

The Buckeyes have the best record in the Big Ten Tournament of any team, with a record of 22-8, winning four Big Ten Tournament championships. Michigan State is 17-12, winning two Big Ten Tournament championships (last championship in 2000).

To see the Big Ten bracket, or other conference brackets,

click here.

Today, I’ll cover the final game.

#1 Michigan State (26-7) (13-5) vs. #3 Ohio State (27-6) (13-5)

Game Time: 3:30 PM EST.


Season Series: Split (February 11th – 58-48 Michigan State in Columbus; March 4th – 72-70 Ohio State in East Lansing).

Last Ten Meetings: 5-5 Split.

Notes: Michigan State wrapped up the conference’s top seed a week before the season ended, but limped into the tournament, losing to Indiana and Ohio State. They also lost 5-star forward Branden Dawson for the rest of the season, due to a torn ACL. 3-star forward Draymond Green (16.2 PPG, 10.3 RPG, and 40.5 Three Point Shooting Percentage) and 4-star guard Keith Appling (11.5 PPG and 2.8 APG) have led the Spartans to a share of the Big Ten title. The Spartans trounced Iowa on Friday, 92-75, in the early game. They beat Wisconsin on Saturday, putting them in position for a potential one seed in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State was 9-2 in the Big Ten before they stumbled a bit, going 4-3 down the stretch. The Buckeyes will need to better utilize their bench if they want to go deep both in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments. 5-star center Jared Sullinger (16.9 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 53.5 Field Goal Shooting Percentage), 5-star guard William Buford (15.1 PPG, 2.9 APG, and 83.5 Free Throw Shooting Percentage), and 5-star forward Deshaun Thomas (15.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 52.6 Field Goal Shooting Percentage) have led Ohio State this season. The Buckeyes beat Purdue on Friday, despite the Boilermakers’ success with the three-point shot. Ohio State drilled Michigan on Saturday, setting up a rubber match with the Spartans.

My Take: The Spartans disposed of Wisconsin, even without Dawson. The Badgers have been playing well, too. Michigan got Sullinger into a bit of foul trouble, but were already too far behind. The Spartans need to limit Sullinger’s inside presence and get him into foul trouble. If Michigan State forces the rest of the Buckeyes to take some bad shots, and the Spartans get the boards, they can beat Ohio State.

The Pick: Michigan State +2.

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