The No. 8-seed Ohio State Buckeyes (19-12, 8-11) will play the No. 1-seed Michigan State Spartans (25-6, 16-4) in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals Friday at 12:30 pm. The Buckeyes enter this game following a 79-75 win over No. 9-seed Indiana in the second round on Thursday. Michigan State, meanwhile, has been happily waiting and preparing through their double bye. Their last game out was a 75-63 win over No. 7 Michigan for a share of the Big Ten regular season title on Saturday. The Spartans have won both games against Ohio State this season.
Who: Ohio State vs. Michigan State
What: Men’s Basketball
Where: Chicago, IL — United Center
When: 12:30 pm (BTN)
Why: Because the road to the Big Ten Championship Game goes through Tom Izzo.
Line: Michigan State -11.5
+ Michigan State leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 75-59, including a 46-17 advantage in games at home. The Spartans have won 35 of the last 51 games in the series. Tom Izzo is 30-16 in his career against the Buckeyes. Chris Holtmann is 1-2 against the Spartans in his career. Fifteen of the last 20 games have been decided by 10 points or less. Eight of the last 16 games have been decided by five points or less.
+ Michigan State is 4-3 all-time against Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament. They last met in 2016 when Michigan State posted an 81-54 win in the quarterfinals. The Spartans have won three of the last four Big Ten Tournament games against the Buckeyes.
+ The Buckeyes scored a total of 168 points in the three games during Kaleb Wesson’s suspension. In the last two games in which he has played, they’ve scored 169.
Michigan State Spartans
What You Need To Know
+ Nick Ward is expected to play for the first time since he injured his hand in the last matchup with the Buckeyes.
+ Michigan State junior guard Cassius Winston was named the Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference’s media and coaches, the Big Ten office announced on Monday, March 11. Winston was also one of two unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten First Team. Winston, who was named a First Team All-American by the Sporting News on Monday morning, is averaging 19.0 points, 7.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds, while shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 41.3 percent from 3-point land. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten Conference in scoring, while also leading the league and ranking No. 3 in the country in assists per game. Winston has scored at least 20 points 17 times this year, has six double-doubles in points and assists, has handed out at least 10 assists seven times and has dished out at least six in 25 games.
+ The Spartans are looking to capture their sixth Big Ten Tournament championship, as they are the only Big Ten team with five tournament titles. In 21 previous years of the Big Ten Tournament, MSU has a record of 29-16. The Spartans won the tournament in 1999, 2000, 2012, 2014 and 2016, and lost in the quarterfinals in 1998, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2017. MSU lost in the semifinals in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2018, and dropped the 2015 title game in overtime.
+ This is the sixth time Michigan State has entered the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 seed. MSU was the No. 1 seed in 1998, 1999, 2009, 2012 and 2018. The Spartans have an 8-3 record all-time as the tournament’s No. 1 seed. Michigan State won the Big Ten Tournament Championship in 1999 and 2012 as the No. 1 seed.
+ In five starts since the loss of junior forward Nick Ward, Xavier Tillman is averaging 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds.
+ MSU ranks among the top-10 in the country in 10 different statistical categories.
+ Junior guard Cassius Winston was named the Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference’s media and coaches, the Big Ten office announced on Monday, March 11. Winston was also one of two unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten First Team. Winston was one of five Spartans to earn All-Big Ten honors. Junior forward Nick Ward was an All-Big Ten Third Team selection by both the media and the coaches, while redshirt senior forward Kenny Goins and senior guard Matt McQuaid were honorable mention selections by the media and coaches. McQuaid earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team and sophomore forward Xavier Tillman was named the league’s Sixth Man of the Year. Winston was also selected by the Associated Press as the Big Ten Player of the Year and was a unanimous pick to the All-Big Ten First Team.