Feb. 22, 2013

No. 18 Ohio State Buckeyes (19-7, 9-5) vs. the No. 4 Michigan State Spartans (22-5, 11-3)

Date: Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013
Site: Value City Arena (18,809)
Game Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Television: CBS
Talent: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play)
Clark Kellogg (expert analysis)
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 91/XM 91
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Ohio State Notes | Michigan State Notes | Big Ten Stats
Ohio State Men’s Basketball
Men’s Basketball Jeff Boals Greg Paulus Dan Wallenberg Alissa Clendenen
@OhioStateHoops @JeffBoals @Greg_Paulus @OSUADAthComm @AlissaC_OSU
Press Conference w/ Coach Matta | Press Conference w/ Smith Jr.

Craft Earns First Team ACademic All-American Honor for Second Time
Aaron Craft was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team for the second time Feb. 21, becoming Ohio State’s first two-time first team honoree. This season, Craft was named Capital One Academic All-America of the Year in Division I men’s basketball. A nutrition (pre-med) major, Craft has an overall grade-point average of 3.92 while leading Ohio State to a 19-7 overall record. In three seasons at Ohio State, Craft has set the career record for steals (222) and has led the Buckeyes to 82 victories, a pair of Big Ten titles, two appearances in the NCAA tournament “Sweet 16,” and a Final Four appearance.

Matta Continues to Build Impressive
Ohio state Resume
Thad Matta has accomplished a remarkable list of accomplishments in nine years as head coach of the Buckeyes and the 2012-13 season is no different. Matta’s teams have never failed to win 20 games, a record streak (eight seasons) in Ohio State history. In fact, Matta has never failed to reach the 20-win plateau in 12 years as a head coach. The Buckeyes are 19-7 to date in 2012-13. Ohio State has reached 30 or more wins three times, all with Matta at the helm. Back-to-back seasons with 30 wins in 2010-11 (34) and 31 in 2011-12 only trail the 35 wins recorded in 2006-07, the Ohio State record for single-season victories. In addition, Matta has won five Big Ten titles, including the last three, three Big Ten postseason tournament crowns, in six title game opportunities, six NCAA tournament appearances, including three-consecutive runs to the “Sweet 16,” a pair of Final Four trips (2007, 2011) and a title game appearance in 2007. Throw in a National Invitation Tournament title in 2009 and Matta has guide the Buckeyes to postseason play in seven-consecutive attempts and in ever year in which Ohio State was eligible.

Buckeyes Looking for 10th League Win
Thad Matta and the Buckeyes have won at least 10 Big Ten Conference regular-season games in each of the last seven seasons, a record streak at Ohio State. The Buckeyes enter the weekend with a 9-5 record in league play during the 2013 conference season. Ohio State has won at least 10 league games 30 times. With another victory this season, Matta will tie legendary Ohio State coach Fred Taylor, who coached eight teams to 10 or more league victories. Matta’s eight 20-win seasons overall is an Ohio State record. Taylor led the Buckeyes to six 20+ win campaigns.  

Thomas 3 Rebounds From Joining 1,000/500 Club
A total of 24 Ohio State players have scored 1,000 or more points to go with 500 career rebounds. Deshaun Thomas (1,419 career points) will be the next to join the club with three rebounds. Jared Sullinger was the last to reach the milestone with 1,282 career points and 717 career rebounds. Thad Matta has coached five of the players on the all-time list. William Buford (1,990/666), Terence Dials (1,566/876), Evan Turner (1,517/683), David Lighty (1,458/577) and Sullinger were added to the list during Matta’s tenure.

Thomas Reaches 500 Points a 2nd Time
Thirty Ohio State players have reached the 500-point mark in a single season at least once. Deshaun Thomas became the 14th player to do so multiple times with 18 points at Wisconsin Feb. 17. Thomas scored 619 points as a sophomore, the 17th best single-season scoring effort in Ohio State history. Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring with 20.1 points per game for a total of 522 points this season. William Buford (2009-12), one of three Buckeyes to score 500+ three times, and Jared Sullinger (2011-12), who did it twice, were the last to record multiple 500-point seasons at Ohio State.

Opponents Look for the 3 vs. Buckeyes
In 26 games this season, opponents have shot at least 20 3-pointers in 12 games, including at least 24 attempts in four of the last seven Big Ten regular-season games. Three of the last seven opponents have made 11 or more treys against the Buckeyes. In seven of 14 league games this season, opponents have attempted 20 or more 3-pointers with Wisconsin attempted 28, making 11, in a loss in Columbus (58-49) Jan. 29. Ohio State is 5-2 in league play when foes attempt 20 or more from distance.

The Michigan State Series
Ohio State has won four of the last seven meetings with the Spartans and have wins in three of the last six games in Columbus. Overall, Michigan State owns the series lead with a 61-52 record. The Buckeyes are 33-22 on their home court. As a ranked team, Ohio State is 20-11 in the Michigan State series. Ohio State is 7-18 against ranked Michigan State teams. When both teams are ranked, Ohio State is 5-7. The teams were both ranked in three meetings last year and in the first meeting this season in East Lansing when the No. 18 Spartans prevailed 59-56 over the No. 11 Buckeyes Jan. 19. No. 11 MSU defeated No. 3 Ohio State in Columbus Feb. 11, 2012. No. 10 Ohio State downed No. 5 Michigan State to claim a share of the 2012 Big Ten regular-season title March 4, 2012, 72-70. The No. 8 Spartans then won the 2012 Big Ten Tournament Title in Indianapolis March 11 with a 68-64 win over the No. 7 Buckeyes. Deshaun Thomas leads Ohio State in the MSU series with 11.8 points per game in five career meetings against the Spartans. Lenzelle Smith Jr. is the team’s leading rebounder with 4.8 boards a game.   
A Look at the Spartans
Michigan State enters the game with a 22-5 record and an 11-5 mark in the Big Ten. The Spartans are led by junior guard Keith Appling’s 13.8 points per game. Freshman Gary Harris contributes 13.2 ppg. while sophomore Branden Dawson averages 10.5 ppg. Senior Derrick Nix (6.4 rpg.) and junior Adreian Payne (7.0 rpg.) lead the Spartans on the boards.

For more on the Buckeyes click on the Ohio State Notes link above.