The possibility of a third straight Big Ten regular season title for Michigan State looked bleak in early February when the Spartans fell to 7-5 in league play and dropped out of the AP Top 25 after starting the season at No. 1. But after winning five of their last six and getting some help from Maryland, the Spartans can clinch at least a share of the title with a senior day victory over Ohio State on Sunday.
It's the only scheduled meeting of the season between the teams, who are among the hottest in the Big Ten entering the regular season's final weekend. Both have won four straight to reverse the fortunes of seasons that appeared to be sliding off the rails at points in the not-too-distant past. Both will be trying to keep that momentum alive as they close the regular season.
- When: Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Breslin Events Center in East Lansing, Mich.
- TV: CBS | Connected TV: CBS All-Access
- Live stream: CBSSports.com | Mobile: CBS Sports App
Ohio State: Ohio State virtually ended Illinois' chances at a Big Ten regular season title on Thursday. Now, the Buckeyes can do the same to Michigan State's hopes of a three-peat. Starting forward Kyle Young remains day-to-day with an ankle sprain, but the Buckeyes have managed well in his absence. Against Illinois it was E.J. Liddell who stepped up. The freshman finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for his first-ever double-double as the Buckeyes guaranteed themselves a winning record in conference play after starting the league slate 1-5.
Michigan State: The Spartans will have to compartmentalize the emotion of a senior day honoring star guard Cassius Winston, who has persevered through the suicide of his brother early in the season to lead Michigan State to the cusp of another title. Kyle Ahrens, Conner George and Joshua Langford will also be honored as part of the festivities, though Langford could return for another season with a potential medical redshirt. Michigan State roared back from 19 down to win at Penn State on Tuesday to give itself a chance at another title. It would be a perfect cap to Winston's Breslin Center career if the Spartans could finish their mad dash up the standings with a win over the Buckeyes.
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Game prediction, pick
Latest odds via SportsLine: Michigan State -6.5
Michigan State is the third-best 3-point shooting team in the Big Ten, and Ohio State has the worst 3-point shooting defense in the league. Considering that disparity and the location of this game, don't be surprised if the Spartans get hot from beyond the arc and run away with this one. Pick: Michigan State -6.5