Michigan State Vs. Ohio State: Buckeyes Host Spartans In Key Big Ten Matchup

MADISON, WI - FEBRUARY 04: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates a win over the Wisconsin Badgers at Kohl Center on February 4, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 58-52. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Ohio State and Michigan State battle for the inside track toward a Big Ten regular season title.

The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes look to reinforce their grip on the top spot in the Big Ten when they host the No. 11 Michigan State Spartans at Value City Arena on Saturday evening.

The Buckeyes enter the game riding a six-game winning streak after holding on at home to beat Purdue 87-84 on Tuesday. The impressive stretch of wins helped Ohio State assert itself as the class of a tough Big Ten conference and strong NCAA title contender.

The Spartans remain in that conversation as well though, just one game behind Ohio State in the standings heading into this monster matchup which features two big bodies battling for Big Ten Player of the Year honors. Michigan State's Draymond Green and Ohio State's Jared Sullinger will be fighting for every inch of real estate in the paint while looking for an offensive advantage against each other.

Sullinger leads the Buckeyes with 17.4 points and nine rebounds per game while Green does much of the same for the Spartans offering 15.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game which makes the Big Ten POY implications an interesting subplot to the game this evening.

Ohio State boasts a better supporting cast with William Buford capable of taking over a game by himself and Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft requiring attention. But Michigan State has plenty of toughness and a strong game from Keith Appling and Branden Dawson should put the Spartans in position to win in the end. And in the end, the win is all that matters.

The games is slated to tip off at 6:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN

For more on the Ohio State Buckeyer, go to Along The Olentangy. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Basketball hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Basketball.

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