|Ohio State 21-9, 11-8 Big Ten Roster | Schedule||March 14, 2009 1:40 PM ET - CBS —— Conseco Fieldhouse Indianapolis, IN||#6 Michigan State 26-5, 16-3 Big Ten Roster | Schedule|
"It's tough to beat a team three times in a season", has become one of the most used cliche's during playoff/tournament time, we can only hope it holds true today.
These two haven't faced each other since late January, after playing twice in a 17 day span. Michigan State took both of those contest by an average of 10 points, 67-58 in East Lansing and 78-67 in Columbus.
I have a funny feeling we are going to see Ed Hightower in stripes today, so he could become a factor in this game as well. If he lets them play, the Bucks can't allow themselves to get pushed around by the more physical Spartans.
|4||PJ HIll||3.0||1.4||1.6||G||1||Kalin Lucas||14.7||2.2||4.5|
|33||Jon Diebler||11.1||3.4||2.5||G||5||Travis Walton||5.1||2.5||3.4|
|21||Evan Turner||16.9||6.8||3.9||F||2||Raymar Morgan||11.0||5.8||1.3|
|44||William Buford||11.1||3.5||1.1||F||10||Delvon Roe||6.0||5.4||0.9|
|52||Dallas Lauderdale||4.5||3.6||0.2||C||14||Goran Suton||9.5||7.6||1.3|
Michigan State lead the league in scoring at 67 points a game, winning their conference games by an average of 8.4 points. The Spartans lead the Big Ten in FG attempts, connecting on 44 percent overall and 34 percent from deep. It should come at no surprise that Izzo's team lead the league in FT attempts and makes as well, going to the line 54 more times than 2nd place Purdue and 108 more times than the Bucks. Again with a possible Hightower sighting, it is going to come down to the charity stripe.
The Spartans out rebounded OSU 35-19 during the game in Cbus, including a 16-3 advantage on the offensive glass, which lead to 15 more FG attempts. During conference play, MSU never let an opponent outrebound them, which lead to astonishing +11.3 margin on the glass. The Buckeyes must not pick up cheap fouls going over the backs of Sparty.
Tom Izzo still loves to sub and will use a 9-10 man rotation in today's game. Super-sub Chris Allen lead the way yesterday with 17, but Durell Summers and Marquise Gray will also contribute.
I think we saw a different Ohio State team yesterday, one that played with the tenacity needed for a Turner-ment run. Lauderdale and Simmons stepped up their games and I was happy to see an emphasis on getting to the rim, one aspect that has to continue this afternoon.
I'm keeping the preview brief here today, most of us know what the Buckeyes need to do in order to pull out this win and advance to the conference title game. If they match their intensity level of yesterday and a couple more players contribute (Mullens and Diebler), there is no reason why the Bucks can't win.
- Buford had 17 and Mullens 16 in the East Lansing game.
- Ohio State won for the first time all year when they trail at the 5:00 mark, erasing that 54-47 deficit. They are 19-1 when they lead at that mark.