Though No. 1 Kentucky will take on No. 16 Florida Sunday, no game has more on the line in the NCAA's final day of the regular season than the clash between the No. 10 Ohio St. Buckeyes and the No. 5 Michigan St. Spartans.
With a victory, the Spartans can secure an outright Big Ten regular-season title and the important top seed in a conference tournament that's sure to be among the most competitive in the country. The Buckeyes earn a share of the regular season title if they can defeat the Spartans, and the No. 13 Michigan Wolverines will, for once, be rooting for Ohio State, because they will share the title if Michigan State falls.
The Buckeyes have a tough task ahead of them — the Spartans are undefeated at home — and the key to their efforts rest on the broad shoulders of Jared Sullinger. If Sullinger can keep Michigan State's Draymond Green off the boards (he averages 10.2 rebounds per game) and Ohio State can win the battle down low, the Buckeyes should be able to overcome the Spartans.
If the Spartans want to leave the arena with the Big Ten regular-season championship in their corner, Keith Appling must find a way to affect the game despite being covered by Buckeyes point guard Aaron Craft, who might be the best perimeter defender in the country. If Appling can have a positive influence and Green does what he's capable of doing, the Spartans will be very tough to beat.
Game Date/TIme: Sunday, March 4, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Mich.
TV: CBS (National)
For more on the Spartans, check out Michigan State blog The Only Colors and SB Nation Detroit. For fans' takes and analysis of the Buckeyes, visit Along The Olentangy. For everything on the Big Ten, head to Off Tackle Empire.