No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 18 Michigan State preview: Buckeyes trying to move into second in Big Ten

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

With a win Saturday, Ohio State could move into second place in the Big Ten standings.

The No. 18 Michigan State Spartans host the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday in a matchup between teams that are part of a hotly contested Big Ten race this season.

Michigan State (15-3) is entering into a tough part of its schedule. Ohio State (13-3) will be the first of four ranked opponents for the Spartans in their next five games. The only unranked team in that group is Wisconsin and the Badgers are currently undefeated in Big Ten play.

Ohio State, meanwhile, wraps up a recent tough stretch Saturday. Michigan State will be the third ranked opponent the Buckeyes have faced in their last four games. The only loss in that stretch for Ohio State came against Illinois.

Michigan State relies on a balanced offensive attack that doesn't feature one dominant player. Five Spartans average between nine and 13 points per game, including Keith Appling, who leads the team at 13.7 points per game.

Ohio State is led by Deshaun Thomas, one of the top players in the Big Ten. Thomas averages 20.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

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