Sports

No. 3 Ohio State set to meet No. 5 Michigan State in Big Ten test for both traditional powers

  • Ohio State's Aaron Craft (4) drives around Nebraska's Terran Petteway (5) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 84-53. (AP Photo/Mike Munden)

    Ohio State's Aaron Craft (4) drives around Nebraska's Terran Petteway (5) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 84-53. (AP Photo/Mike Munden)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ohio State's Aaron Craft (4) reaches for the ball against Nebraska's Nathan Hawkins (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mike Munden)

    Ohio State's Aaron Craft (4) reaches for the ball against Nebraska's Nathan Hawkins (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mike Munden)  (The Associated Press)

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says his players better not treat a top-five matchup with Ohio State as if it's just another game.

The fifth-ranked Spartans will host the third-ranked Buckeyes on Tuesday night.

How the starting point guards perform might be pivotal at the Breslin Center.

Both traditional conference powers have good ones, who play differently. Ohio State's Aaron Craft does it all other than consistently score a lot. Michigan State's Keith Appling, meanwhile, looks for his offense early and often both inside and outside the paint.

The winner will move into first place by a half-game ahead of Big Ten teams such as No. 4 Wisconsin — with a lot of basketball left to play.