The Ohio State Buckeyes will square off against the Michigan State Spartans today at 3:30 p.m. ET for the Big Ten tournament championship game. The two teams split the regular season series, although Ohio State needed a late and furious rally to overcome Tom Izzo's Spartans in the regular season finale which created a three-way share for the regular season title between Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan. After beating Michigan yesterday afternoon, the Buckeyes and Michigan State can settle it on the hardwood.
In order for Ohio State to get by Michigan State, though, they'll need to build off what they were able to do in the final minutes of last week's contest. Along the Olentangy, SB Nation's Ohio State blog, says it starts with what killed them in those two regular season games -- Michigan State's frontcourt:
The biggest issue the Buckeyes must overcome is the same one that killed them in the first contest and damaged them in the second: the combined interior size and strength of Draymond Green, 6''7 230lbs, Adreian Payne, 6''10 240 lbs, and Derrick Nix, 6''9 270 lbs. The three monstrous men give Michigan State a slight but significant advantage over Ohio State in offensive rebounding and free throw shooting rate, two of the Four Factors that predict success. Nix, surprisingly, played well against Sullinger on March 4th, holding him to a reasonable 14 points and four offensive rebounds.
For more on the Ohio State Buckeyes, head to Along The Olentangy. For more on the Michigan State Spartans, head on over to The Only Colors. For more March Madness coverage, be sure to check out SB Nation's NCAA Basketball hub.