This afternoon, a true champion of the Big Ten Conference was crowned, as the Michigan State Spartans held on in the final minutes to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes 68-64 for their first conference tournament championship since 2000.

Back and forth, punch for punch, strength vs. strength. For everything Michigan State threw at Ohio State, the Buckeyes responded. Every ounce of heart left on the hardwood in scarlet was matched with a stain of green pride.

In the first ten and a half minutes, there were seven lead changes.

First it was the Michigan State Spartans imposing their will.  Taking a 7-2 lead early off a three pointer in the far corner from Draymond Green. The Buckeyes would respond with three turnovers in the first two minutes and sinking only one field goal in their first seven tries.

Aaron Craft would change that with a solid iso drive to the right and into the paint for the one handed layup. Getting back on defense is the key in any close game, as Craft would stymie a drive to the hoop by poking away the basketball to William Buford on the opposing possession.

The senior would take the basketball coast to coast on a one handed jam. Jared Sullinger would follow that up with a turnaround hook from the mid-post to give Ohio State the lead on the 8-0 run.

In total in the first half, both teams would trade leads a total of 12 times.

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Ohio State and Michigan State meet today at 3:30 PM EST on CBS for the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game!  First seeded Michigan State defeated the Wisconsin Badgers to earn their way into the final game.

After the Buckeyes and Spartans play, we will continue to run the liveblog until and through the NCAA Selection Show!  So stick around and share your thoughts about the bracket with us!

While you wait for the game, go check out our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye BlogOSU Silver BulletBuckeye House CallOur Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and GrayFox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual.

Go Bucks!

Pregame Glance: B1G Tourney Final vs. Michigan State

Written March 10th, 2012 by Eric

Only two teams remain in the season-ending tournament of the toughest conference in the country. The Ohio State Buckeyes, fresh off a strong victory over the Michigan Wolverines, are set to do battle with the Michigan State Spartans for the second time in a week. Again, much like the previous duel, championship implications ride on the result, making the game significantly more important than it already would have been.

Overall, the Spartans have only participated in two Tournament Championship games in the 15 years the tournament has run. Michigan State last played for the championship in 2000 where they defeated the 4th seeded Fighting Illini 76-61. They also won in 1999 over the 11th seeded Illini 67-50. When the Spartans make it to the final game, they certainly make the most of the opportunity.

The Buckeyes are only the third team holding the number three seed to make it to the tournament final. The first occurrence was in 1998, the first year of the tournament, when #3 Purdue lost to #4 Michigan 76-67. The second time was in 2009 when #3 Purdue defeated fifth seeded Ohio State 65-61.
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BBN Basketball LiveBlog: Michigan State II

Written March 4th, 2012 by Eric

The Buckeyes and Spartans meet up at 4:00 PM EST on CBS today to play for either a share (for the Buckeyes) or an outright claim (for the Spartans) of the Big Ten Regular Season Championship!

While you wait, go checkout our friends in the Buckeye Bloggers Network! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, and Men of the Scarlet and Gray. Fox Sports Ohio also joins us as usual. The liveblog will kickoff at 3:30 PM EST.

Go Bucks! Let’s win that ol’ conference now!

Pregame Glance:MSU Spartans Part II

Written March 3rd, 2012 by WVaBuckeye
The 11th ranked Buckeyes (23-6, 11-5) travel to East Lansing to take on the 5th ranked Spartans (24-6, 13-4).When the Buckeyes hosted Sparty on February 11th they were sporting the second longest home winning streak at 39. That went to the wayside as B1G POY contender Draymond Green and his partner in crime Adreian Payne effectively stopped it cold. Let’s take a good look at the Spartans, their program and this match-up.

The Izzone is brutal

School: Michigan State University
Location: East Lansing,Michigan
Founded: 1855 – The FIRST agricultural College in theU.S.  Originally called the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan
Student Population: 47,800 8th largest university in the country
School Type: Public
Division: NCAA
Conference: Big Ten
Stadium: Breslin Center
Seating: 14,759
Built: 1989
Head Coach: Tom Izzo –Northern Michigan1977
Experience & Accomplishments 17th Year – 407 wins and 167 losses .4 National COY awards, 6 Final Fours, 14 straight NCAA’s, 6 B1G Champs, 1 National Championship in 2000, More Final Four appearances than Williams and Krzyzewski since 1996(6-5-4 respectively)  Graduates a staggering 81% of players that complete eligibility.
Program History First season was 1898-99 and MSU’s all-time record is 1,507-1.022 with 25 NCAA appearances, 8 Final Four appearances, All-time tourney record of 52-24 and 2 National Championships in 1979 and 2000. 12 B1G Championships and 2 B1G tourney championships.

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Basketball LiveBlog: Michigan State

Written February 11th, 2012 by Eric

The Buckeyes and Spartans are butting heads today for the first of two matchups that will likely decide the B1G Championship! ESPN is airing the game today, which is set to tip at 6:00 PM EST in Value City Arena.

While you wait, go checkout our Buckeye Blogger Network friends! the Buckeye Blog, OSU Silver Bullet, Buckeye House Call, Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. They will all be joining us at 8:30 PM for the start of our liveblog.

If you’re looking for web-video for the game, try First Row Sports (warning: pop-up ads). Click the basketball tab, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right game.

Go Bucks!

Pregame Glance: Michigan State

Written February 10th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

The Buckeyes were just about caught looking ahead to MSU against a game Boilermaker squad the other night. They pulled out in the end and were finally able to focus on the Michigan State Spartans. Let’s focus on them as well.

Sparty has that look on his face every time he's in the Schott and it's NOT to look mean.

Pre-season Preview of Michigan State

School: Michigan State University
Location: East Lansing,Michigan
Founded: 1855 – The FIRST agricultural College in theU.S.  Originally called the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan
Student Population: 47,800 8th largest university in the country
School Type: Public
Division: NCAA
Conference: Big Ten
Stadium: Breslin Center
Seating: 14,759
Built: 1989
Head Coach: Tom Izzo –Northern Michigan1977
Experience & Accomplishments 17th Year – 4 National COY awards, 6 Final Fours, 14 straight NCAA’s, 6 B1G Champs, 1 National Championship in 2000

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B1G Basketball Preview: Michigan State

Written October 20th, 2011 by Eric

Draymond Green is ready for the season. Are you?

For the better part of the last two decades, the Michigan State Spartans have consistently been one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten Conference. While in some seasons the Spartans don’t quite have a top notch team, they still tend to put up more than a fight and they rarely stay down for long.

A lot of the credit for that belongs to head coach Tom Izzo for consistently building a tough, hard-nosed basketball team year in and year out. He regularly picks up top talent on the recruiting trail and molds them into a solid team. The last two trips to the Final Four in 2009 and 2010 speak to that.

We continue our preseason look at the teams of the Big Ten with one of the more visible of the conference’s basketball teams: the Michigan State Spartans.

Last Season:

I doubt there was any fanbase in the country more disappointed last season than Spartan fans. After two straight Final Four appearances, and with a team loaded with veteren talant in the backcourt, the Spartans limped home to a 19-15 record including a 9-9 conference record. That’s the fewest wins they’ve had since the 03-04 season when they went 18-12 and lost in the first round of the tournament. Clearly Michigan State fans have a reason to expect better.

Part of the reason for this sudden reversal was the complete meltdown of that very veteren backcourt. Chris Allen (dismissed) and Korie Lucious (suspended for the season) both transfered to Iowa State early in the season and depleted the experienced backcourt depth. Couple that with Durrell Summers not living up to his expectations, and Kalin Lucas underperforming all season, and you have a recipe for a disaster. Worse than that, the usually potent and powerful Michigan State front court was a shadow of its former self. Draymond Green and Delvon Roe struggled desperately the entire year to carry the team on their own.
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