The top two teams in the packed Big Ten meet in a clash that could determine which team is really going to have a shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Michigan State Spartans will hope to keep their run on the NCAA basketball odds going when they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Ohio State was completely baffled on the offensive side of the court when they took on the Spartans at home a month ago. It was really the beginning of a bit of a decline for the Buckeyes, who many figured would just waltz to another No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. Since that point, OSU has lost to both the Michigan Wolverines and the Wisconsin Badgers, and there was a very close call against the Northwestern Wildcats midweek this past week. The question that is arising is whether the Buckeyes are really built like a tourney team or not, and the argument could be made that they aren’t. They only shoot 33.2 percent from beyond the arc, ranking No. 233 in the nation, and instead of these upstart teams that seem to revolve around their guards, when Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger aren’t at their best, they are a beatable outfit. Aaron Craft and William Buford have some potential to do things like that, but this just feels like a team that is going to be knocked off by a team that you just don’t see coming at some point, perhaps as early as the first weekend of the dance.
The Spartans were rolling and were probably on their way to a No. 1 seed in March Madness until they were derailed by the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington over the course of the week. Though there is no shame in the loss (after all, that is still the only place that the Kentucky Wildcats have lost this year), it was a defeat that at least kept the door open for the time being for the team to slip. Still, Head Coach Tom Izzo has a great history for games this time of year, and Draymond Green is the perfect man to help MSU out come tourney time, knowing that he can literally do it all and match up with almost anyone on the court. Still, to impress the Selection Committee, the Spartans probably need either the outright Big Ten title in the regular season or at least a run to the finale of the Big Ten Tournament next Sunday to be able to stake a claim to that top seed. That has to be all that Sparty has on its mind right now coming into this one at the Jack Breslin Center.
The Final Word: There’s something about this Ohio State team that we really just don’t like all that much. The Buckeyes just don’t have the feel of a team that is going to win the big time games in the face of adversity, and in the end, we do tend to think that the Spartans really do have the better team. The seniors for MSU have gone 17-0 this year at home, and there is no way that they are going to want to spoil that with a loss on Senior Day.
Ohio State Buckeyes @ Michigan State Spartans Pick: Michigan State Spartans
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.