Sports

Best in balanced Big Ten likely to be team from Michigan: But is it Spartans or Wolverines?

  • Michigan State's Gary Harris (14) shoots against Penn State's John Johnson (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 82-67. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

    Michigan State's Gary Harris (14) shoots against Penn State's John Johnson (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 82-67. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Michigan State coach Tom Izzo yells to his team during during the second of an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin upset Michigan State, 60-58. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

    Michigan State coach Tom Izzo yells to his team during during the second of an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin upset Michigan State, 60-58. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)  (The Associated Press)

Now the ball's in your court, Sparty.

No. 15 Michigan did its part by upending No. 22 Ohio State 70-60 on Tuesday night, giving the Wolverines a half-game edge in the Big Ten race. Now ninth-ranked Michigan State gets a chance to pull even again when it hosts Northwestern on Thursday night.

Outsiders might look at the conference and say this isn't a vintage year. After all, there is no single, dominant team hailed as a national contender.

But the Big Ten's depth might be as good as ever. Everybody's taking their lumps in a season in which even the bottom teams have pulled off upsets, road wins have come more frequently than ever and it seems there's another major surprise every night of the week.