Both the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan State Spartans are fighting for No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, and there is a great possibility that the winner of the Big Ten Championship Game between these two teams will get the job done in the final game before the brackets are released on Sunday.
The Buckeyes are starting to get their swagger about them, and they are starting to come up with a bit of a mean streak. They really took it to the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday afternoon here at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, winning by 22 against a team that is almost certainly going to be in the Top 5 slots in the bracket when this is said and done with. It was the fourth tremendous win in a row for this team after losing three out of five, and it all seemed to start with a long since forgotten about win over the Northwestern Wildcats at the buzzer in Evanston. Then came a win over these Spartans, a domination of the Purdue Boilermakers, and the romp over Michigan that we just mentioned. Jared Sullinger has been a man on a mission over the course of the last few games, and he is really starting to make a case that perhaps he is the best big man in the land, and in these last four games, he has averaged 22.5 points and 11.5 boards per game. No one in the country can say that they have numbers like that, and certainly no one is this dominating as Sullinger is when he is on his game.
The Spartans really had their season turn around when they went on the road and took down the Buckeyes in Columbus. They really got going and became a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for a bit of time, and they are probably going to be on their way to the top line if they can win the rubber match in this series. MSU has played two very different games here in the Big Ten Tournament. Against the Iowa Hawkeyes, the team had to come out gunning on all cylinders offensively to come away with a 92-75 triumph. The win over the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday was a lot different, as there was a heck of a lot of defense in the 65-52 win. There was never really a doubt about either game once Sparty and the gang got started. Draymond Green has had three straight double-doubles, and in those three games he averaged 18.0 points and 12.7 boards per game. Remember that this is a man that is a do it all, averaging 16.2 points, 10.4 boards, and 3.6 assists per game. Green is going to be the man that has to get the job done against OSU.
The Final Word: These two teams are just absolutely remarkable and have been great in this tournament. It is so hard to handicap these two squads, but in the end, we still think that the Buckeyes are the slightly better team, and it will show in a very close game throughout.
Ohio State Buckeyes @ Michigan State Spartans Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.