The Spartans are facing a solid and rejuvenated Ohio State basketball team that is actually talking Final Four this year as opposed to next year when several highly touted basketball recruits make there way to Columbus.
The Bucks are 12-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten. The Bucks are 9-0 at home and are leading the Big Ten in scoring at 81.5 points per game.
The Spartans who are 13-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten, will have to improve on their perimeter defense to hang with the Buckeyes. OSU is shooting .506 from the field, .435 from 3-point land, and have made 9.08 3-point field goals a game. This puts them at second in the Big Ten in all those categories. So the Spartans will have their work cut out.
Terrance Dials has been a thorn in the Spartans side, averaging 12.5 points in four previous games vs the Spartans on 58-percent shooting. This year Dials is averaging 63% from the field.
OSU presents various problems for the Spartans. J.J. Sullinger is tough on the boards, Je'Kel Foster has quick hands and leads the Big Ten in steals, Jamar Butler is shooting 49% from the field and Matt Sylvester is a 3-point gunner and the type of player who has given MSU fits all year long.
Meanwhile the big three of Maurice Ager, Shannon Brown, and Paul Davis are the only three players on the same team that average over 17 points per game. In fact, they account for 71.6 percent of the Spartans points per game, or 57.2 of the 79.9 points that the team is averaging.
Ager and Davis struggled prior to the Indiana game, but came alive to pull away against Indiana. However, that was at home and the Spartans will have to show some consistency on the road.
While Ohio State owns a 32-20 of games played between the two teams in Columbus, MSU has won 18 of the last 21 in this series. OSU is 15-7 against ranked opponents in Columbus.
Tip off is at 4:35pm and will be shown on CBS. Come back to GSN and talk about MSU basketball after the game.