Spartans Limp Into Tournament Play

Keith Appling drives to the basket against OSU

With a chance to claim the Big Ten title outright on home court looked too good not to happen Sunday afternoon in the Breslin Center. However, Ohio State also had something to play for making this game a must win for the Green & White.

Coming into Sunday's game against No. 10 Ohio State, Tom Izzo knew it would be no walk in the park for his No. 5 Michigan State team.

When the final whistle blew, it was the Buckeyes coming out on top with a 72-70 victory staking a claim along with Michigan to a share of this season's Big Ten title.

"No excuses," Izzo said following the game. "We just didn't get it done."

The Spartans jumped out early to a 15-point advantage over the Buckeyes in the first half only to let it slip away. Spartan fans will long remember this year's team as one that held a two-game advantage following last Saturday's victory over Nebraska only to let it slip away with losses to Indiana and OSU.

William Buford was the star for the Buckeyes scoring 25 points with the biggest two coming on a high-arcing jumper from the top of the key with only one second remaining in the game.

Spartan senior Draymond Green would post 19 points on the day but would see two of his final shots in the Breslin Center miss their mark and the Spartans chances of an outright championship go by the wayside.

The win by Ohio State gives the Spartans, Buckeyes and Michigan each a share of the conference title with MSU earning the top seed when the Big Ten tournament begins on Thursday in Indianapolis.

Heading into the tournament the status of freshman Branden Dawson is unknown following an injury to his left knee early in Sunday's contest.

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