The undefeated No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes came into their biggest game of the season against the No. 5 Michigan State Spartans with an opportunity to move forward in the college basketball rankings, but fell short in overtime 72-68. Gary Harris and Keith Appling were too much for the Buckeyes as they put up a combined 33 points.
OSU’s Shannon Scott was the only starting player for the Buckeyes that lived up to expectations, but they got a nice surprise off the bench in 18 points from Sam Thompson.
It’s unfortunate that Thad Matta’s squad chose their toughest opponents yet to have an off game, but the good news for Ohio State is that a loss against a top opponent this early doesn’t mean much in the long run. The Buckeyes would have liked to finish the season undefeated with a No. 1 overall seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but let’s face it, the Buckeyes were not going to go undefeated in Big 10 play.
The conference is far too deep for any team to go undefeated. Losing to Michigan State just got their loss out of the way, and will only help Ohio State focus moving forward.
Remember, this game was at home for Michigan State; Ohio State will have an opportunity for revenge in Columbus in the last game of the regular season that will be far more important. The matchup on March 9 could not only determine the winner of the Big 10 regular season title, but a potential No. 1 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament as well.
Expect OSU to put their first loss of the season behind them and defeat the No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes in their next game.