Men's Basketball

Saturday Shootaround — No. 1 Michigan State at Ohio State

Jae'Sean Tate Ohio State Basketball


The Ohio State men’s basketball team (12-4, 3-0) takes on the No. 1 Michigan State Spartans (15-1, 3-0) Sunday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:40 pm and the game will be aired on CBS.

The Buckeyes are coming in off of a 92-81 win at Iowa on Thursday. MSU, meanwhile, just beat Maryland by 30 points earlier in the week.

Opening Tip

Who: No. 1 Michigan State (15-1, 3-0) at Ohio State (12-4, 3-0)

What: Men’s Basketball

Where: Columbus, Ohio — Value City Arena

When: Sunday, 4:40 pm (CBS)

Why: Because it’s finally gonna be warm enough to leave your house.

Three Point Territory

[Top 5 Opponents] The Buckeyes are 37-69 vs. Top 5 opponents all-time. Ohio State’s last non-conference game vs. a Top 5 opponent was in New Orleans vs. No. 5 North Carolina in the CBSSports Classic (L, 86-72, 12/23/17). Ohio State’s last win vs. a Top 5 opponent was 74-67 in the CBS event over No. 4 Kentucky in Brooklyn, New York, Dec. 19, 2015. Ohio State was unranked vs. both the Tar Heels and Wildcats. Against the nation’s No. 1 team, Ohio State is 8-11 all-time, including a 5-5 record in Columbus. The last time Ohio State faced a No. 1 team was Feb. 10, 2013 vs. Indiana in Columbus, an 81-68 win for the Hoosiers. Ohio State’s last win over a No. 1 ranked team was a 49-48 win over No. 1 Wisconsin Feb. 25, 2007 in Columbus. Ohio State was No. 2 at the time. The Buckeyes last win over No. 1 as an unranked team was March 6, 2005 over No. 1 Illinois, 65-64, in Columbus. At Value City Arena, Ohio State is 27-23 vs. ranked opponents, 23-19 vs. ranked Big Ten foes, 5-3 vs. Top 5 teams and 2-2 against No. 1 ranked competition.

[The MSU Series] Michigan State leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes 68-56. The Spartans are 23-36 in Columbus vs. Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 9-22 vs. ranked MSU teams all-time. Ohio State’s last win over a ranked Spartan squad was a 69-67 victory over No. 22 MSU March 9, 2014. Ohio State has never faced a No. 1 ranked Michigan State team. The Buckeyes are 2-3 in games when MSU is ranked among the Top 5.

[KBD BMOC] Ohio State junior forward Keita Bates-Diop leads the Big Ten in scoring at 19.3 points per game, and is third in rebounding with 8.9 rebounds per game. He is No. 9 in free throw shooting (.817), No. 16 in steals (1.1/game), No. 14 in three-pointers made per game (1.9), No. 8 in blocked shots per game (1.6), No. 2 in defensive rebounds per game (7.6), and No. 7 in minutes played per game (31.6).

What You Should Know

+ Miles Bridges had 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two blocks to help No. 1 Michigan State turn a closely contested game into another rout, pulling away to beat Maryland 91-61 on Thursday night. MSU used a 15-0 late in the first half to take a 44-32 lead at the break and led by as many as 30 points in the second half. The Spartans hit a season-high 16 3-pointers on the way to the win. Nick Ward added 16 points and two blocks, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 15 points and three blocks and Cassius Winston had 10 points and eight assists. Kenny Goins scored a season-high eight points and junior Matt McQuaid grabbed a career-best seven rebounds. MSU received 27 points from its bench.

+ Michigan State’s sophomore class – Miles Bridges, Joshua Langford, Cassius Winston and Nick Ward – have helped lead the way for the Spartans. Through 16 games, that quartet has accounted for 65.7 percent of the team’s scoring (925 of 1,407 points), 46.0 percent of its rebounds (322 of 700) and 55.3 percent of the team’s assists (198 of 358). Together they are averaging 57.8 points, 20.1 rebounds and 12.4 assists.

+ The Spartans have connected on at least 57 percent of their shots in five-straight games, shooting 62.1 percent in that span. Against Cleveland State on Dec. 29, MSU hit a season-high 65.1 percent of its field goals, the first time the team had hit at least 65 percent of its shots since connecting on 66.1 percent in a win over Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 18, 2016. The Spartans hit 74.2 percent of their first half shots against Cleveland State (23-of-31), the second time this season MSU hit at least 70 percent in a half. MSU ranks No. 1 in the country in field goal percentage (53.3 percent) and No. 8 in 3-point percentage (42.4 percent).