COLUMBUS, Ohio – It seems every time Michigan State and Ohio State have met on a basketball court in recent years, one team has walked away with a trophy.
But that won't be the case when the No. 4 Spartans square off with the 18th-ranked Buckeyes on Sunday.
Coach Tom Izzo's team (22-5, 11-3) needs a victory to remain within reach of top-ranked Big Ten leader Indiana (24-3, 12-2) as the conference race winds down.
The Buckeyes (19-7, 9-5) are trying to maintain a two-game grip on fifth place and cement a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament. They can also stretch coach Thad Matta's success rate in 20-win seasons to a perfect 13 for 13.
A loss for either team creates headaches that can cause problems down the road.