Final OT

(3) Ohio State 68

(15-1, 2-1 Big Ten)

(5) Michigan State 72

(14-1, 3-0 Big Ten)

    Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

    9:00 PM ET, January 7, 2014

    Breslin Center, East Lansing, Michigan

    1 2 OT T
    #3OSU 21 37 1068
    #5MSU 28 30 1472

    Top Performers

    Ohio State: S. Thompson 18 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Stl

    Michigan St: K. Appling 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Ohio St.-Michigan St. Preview

    Michigan State is about to play in its second top-five matchup of the season, and coach Tom Izzo is hoping the Spartans bring the right approach to the experience.

    "It better not become another game," Izzo said Monday. "Otherwise, that's disappointing. And yet again, you don't want it to be where it's the biggest game of the year because you do have to learn in this program you're going to have a lot of big games."

    The fifth-ranked Spartans (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) host No. 3 Ohio State (15-0, 2-0) on Tuesday night. The winner moves into first place by a half-game over Big Ten teams such as No. 4 Wisconsin -- with a lot of basketball left to play.

    As a second-ranked team nearly two months ago, Michigan State beat then-No. 1 Kentucky. The Spartans have won six straight since losing their only game, a humbling setback at home against North Carolina.

    The Buckeyes have defeated one ranked team, pulling away from then-No. 17 Marquette for a 52-35 road win in November after the game was tied at halftime.

    Ohio State is off to its best start since the 2010-11 season -- when it began 24-0 -- thanks to its stingy defense that hasn't allowed an opponent to score 70 points this season.

    How the starting point guards perform could be pivotal at the Breslin Center. Both traditional conference powers have good ones with much different styles.

    Izzo is hoping Michigan State's Keith Appling doesn't worry too much about trying to outplay Aaron Craft.

    "Sometimes Keith will do that," Izzo said. "It gets to be where those two get talked about and that's not good for Keith. He's got to just play his game. They're two different kinds of players, both very good defensively. But Keith can do some other things -- scoring the ball -- that I think Craft can't do. And Craft can do some things that Keith doesn't do as well. "

    Craft does a little of everything for the Buckeyes. He was named the Big Ten player of the week after averaging just eight points because he also averaged seven assists, five-plus rebounds and more than three steals without turning the ball over once last week.

    Appling, meanwhile, looks for his offense early and often, both inside and outside the paint. He is averaging 15.6 points and is shooting a career-best .472 on 3-point shots.

    "You know he's going to make great plays," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. "It's trying to disrupt his rhythm, if that's possible."

    Matta seems to accomplish what he wants to do against the Izzo-led Spartans more than any other coach in the conference.

    Since his debut season with Ohio State during the 2004-05 season, Matta has won more games (10) against Izzo than any other coach in the same span of seasons and has lost nine times.

    "I have the utmost respect for coach Izzo," Matta said. "I look at what he has built in his time at Michigan State and he's done it the right way which is the most important thing.

    "When you go into a game and you're coaching against a Hall of Fame college basketball coach, I enjoy the handshake because he's always got a couple nuggets of wisdom."

    And even though Izzo has done a lot in 19 seasons of leading the Spartans, he is about to see just the second matchup of top-five men's teams in East Lansing. The first was Feb. 19, 2013, when No. 1 Indiana beat No. 4 Michigan State 72-68.

    "Two top-five teams, that doesn't happen very often here," Izzo said. "It is a special event and you just hope the weather holds up so it becomes one."


    Follow Larry Lage on Twitter:


    School Info

    Conference Big Ten Big Ten
    Nickname Buckeyes Spartans
    Type Public Public

    2013-14 Season

    » Jan 7, 2014 @MSU 72, OSU 68Recap
    Mar 9, 2014 @OSU 69, MSU 67Recap

    Research Notes

    Michigan State scored 20 points against Ohio State in transition Tuesday. The Buckeyes entered the game holding opponents to 7.4 points per game in transition, fourth-best in the nation. Keith Appling had as many points in transition as the whole Ohio State team.
    Michigan State outscored Ohio State 43-18 on shots outside the paint Tuesday. The Spartans made 11 three-pointers, the most such field goals allowed by Ohio State in a game this season.
    It was another strong game from Keith Appling against Ohio State, as he poured in 20 points. His improvement this season has been a huge reason why Michigan State is one of the best schools around. He's shooting over 50 percent from the floor and over 48 percent from 3-point land, after shooting 32 percent from 3 last year. He's also nearly doubled his assist-to-turnover ratio.
    Michigan State and Ohio State have squared off in huge top-10 matchups, in different sports, exactly a month apart.
    Ohio State's offense was more effective when it was able to get a paint touch Tuesday. The Buckeyes got a paint touch on half of their possessions, scoring 20 more points than when they didn't get a paint touch.

    ESPN Stats & Information