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Spartans And Buckeyes Battle In Big Ten Championship Game

The Spartans will face Ohio State in Sunday's Big Ten Tournament Championship Game.

March 11, 2012

No. 1 Michigan State (26-7, 13-5) vs. No. 3 Ohio State (27-6, 13-5)
 Date Sunday, March 11
 Time 3:30 p.m. ET
 Location Indianapolis, Ind. | Bankers Life Fieldhouse
 Television CBS (Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Steve Kerr)
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Will Tieman, Gus Ganakas, Matt Steigenga)
 Tickets Available at
 Game Notes Michigan State
 Statistics  Michigan State | Ohio State
 Internet Coverage   Gametracker
 Social Media @MSU_Basketball   |  Facebook

The Opening Tip
Michigan State faces Ohio State in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans and Buckeyes split the season series, with each team winning on the opponent's home court. MSU is making its third apperance in the title game, and its first since winning back-to-back tournament titles in 1999 and 2000.

MSU Basketball Notes
* MSU is 17-12 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament, including 2-0 in the championship game. The Spartans have not appeared in the tournament title game since 2000.

* Draymond Green is a First-Team Sporting News All-America honoree, the first Spartan to be honored by the magazine since Jason Richardson in 2001.

* MSU ranks second in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.376). Its current .377 field-goal percentage defense is the lowest percentage of the Izzo era.

* Over the last four years, the 2012 class has posted a 104-38 record, equalling the 2000 class for the fifth-winningest class in school history, one behind the 2011 class.

* MSU is 65-26 (.714) in March since the 1998-99 season. For his career, Izzo is 72-33 (.686) in March.

* With 1,046 career rebounds, Draymond Green ranks second in MSU history, 46 behind Greg Kelser (1,092) in first place. At his current 10.4 rpg average, Green would need to play five more games to become the all-time leader. Green ranks 16th in the nation in rebounding (through March 8).

* Draymond Green leads the Big Ten and ranks 9th in the nation (through March 8) with 19 double-doubles. Green has tallied 37 career double-doubles, ranking second most by a Spartan since 1975-76, trailing only Greg Kelser (48).

* The Spartans are allowing just 59.0 points (ranking 12th in the nation through March 8) on .377 shooting (2nd in nation), including .294 from 3-point range (8th in nation). The Spartans rank third in the Big Ten in scoring defense, first in field-goal percentage defense and second in 3-point field-goal percentage defense. Only two teams have shot 50 percent or better from the field, while 22 have shot under 41 percent, including five below 30 percent.

* In MSU's seven wins over ranked opponents, the Spartan defense has been outstanding, holding opponents to 57.3 points on .362 shooting. Offensively, Draymond Green (17.6 ppg) and Keith Appling (15.1 ppg) pace the Spartans in wins over ranked opponents.

* Draymond Green leads the Spartans with 45 made 3-pointers and 116 3-point attempts. He's made three or more 3-pointers in four of the last six games.

* Draymond Green leads the nation with six games of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists this year. Since 1996-97, Evan Turner is the only player from a power six conference to have more such games in a single season, recording seven in 2009-10.

* Currently averaging 16.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg and 3.6 apg, Draymond Green is looking to become the first player from a power six conference to average 15 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists in a season since Tim Duncan accomplished the feat in 1996-97.

* Draymond Green has led MSU in rebounding in 27 of 33 games, while pacing the Spartans in scoring in 19 games and in assists in 12 games. He's the only player in the Big Ten to rank in the top 10 in scoring (5th), rebounding (1st) and assists (8th).

* The Spartans rank third in the nation in rebounding margin (through March 8). With a current margin of +8.7, they have out-rebounded 26 of 33 opponents. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 443 of 577 opponents (.768), posting a 350-93 (.790) mark in those games.

* The Spartans rank second in the conference and 8th in the nation in 3-point FG% defense (through March 8), allowing opponents to shoot just .294 from behind the arc. MSU has held 11 opponents to a .250 or lower shooting percentage from behind the arc. That happened just four times all of last season. Nineteen opponents have shot .300 or lower, including 12 of the last 19.

* Through the first six games of the season, MSU was shooting just .269 from 3-point range (32-119). In the last 26 games, however, the Spartans have been on target, connecting on .396 of their shots (154-389) from behind the arc.

* Michigan State ranks 26th in the nation (through March 8) and second in the Big Ten in assists with 15.3 per game. The Spartans have recorded an assist on 59.1 percent of their baskets.

* Over the first six games of the season, MSU shot .423 from the field and .238 from 3-point range. In the last 27 games, however, MSU has shown dramatic improvement, hitting .489 from the field and .396 from 3-point range. The Spartans have shot over 50 percent in 14 of the last 26 games, including four contests at 60 percent or better.

* With 1,452 points, he ranks 18th in MSU history, needing 17 to move past Charlie Bell (1,468 points).

* Michigan State is outscoring opponents, 398-300, in second-chance points for the season. That's an average of +3.0 points per game (12.1-9.1). MSU grabs 37.5 percent of its misses, ranking first in the conference.

* In the first 73 games of his career, Derrick Nix scored in double figures just three times; he's done it 10 times in the last 26 contests, scoring eight or more points in 17 of the last 26 games. He's been MSU's first sub in 29 of the 32 games in which he's come off the bench.

* The Spartans are 11-0 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponent, but just 11-7 when they have more (4-0 when equal).

* Michigan State has out-scored its opponents in the paint by an average of 34.1-21.7, out-scoring 29 of its 33 opponents.

MSU Big Ten Tournament Notes
* Draymond Green is averaging 17.5 points and 13.0 rebounds in two games.

* Draymond Green ranks third in Big Ten Tournament history with 80 rebounds, trailing only Iowa's Reggie Evans (95) and Illinois' James Augustine (85).

* Michigan State is shooting .546 from the field, including .519 from 3-point range, while holding opponents to .392 from the field.

* Keith Appling has 11 assists against just three turnovers, good for a 3.7 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Game #33 Notes - MSU 65 - Wisconsin 52
* Michigan State improved to 3-3 all-time against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament, including 3-1 in the semifinals.

* Draymond Green grabbed a MSU Big Ten Tournament record 16 rebounds, equalling the sixth-best single-game effort in league history.

* Draymond Green scored 12 of his 14 points and grabbed 11 of his 16 rebounds in the second half.

* Draymond Green climbed into second place in career rebounds (1,046), passing Johnny Green, and moved into a tie with Scott Skiles for second place in career steals (175).

* Austin Thornton knocked down a career-high four 3-pointers, hitting all four of his shots.

* After falling behind 20-9 when Jared Berggren hit a 3-pointer with 10:13 left in the first half, MSU closed the half on a 26-5 run, and opened the second half on a 11-2 run, completing a 37-7 run.

* MSU's rally from an 11-point deficit equalled its largest comeback of the season, having previously trailed Central Connecticut State by 11.

MSU vs. Ohio State Notes
Series History

Michigan State leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 64-54. The Spartans have won 24 of the last 35 games in the series. Tom Izzo is 19-11 in his career against the Buckeyes.

Spartans Vs. Buckeyes In Big Ten Tournament
Michigan State is 1-2 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament against Ohio State. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes, 67-60, in the 2008 quarterfinals, but fell to OSU in the 2003 semifinals (54-55) and the 2009 semfinals (70-82).

Coach Matta
Thad Matta (Butler, `90) is 319-94 in his 12th season as a collegiate head coach, including 217-63 in his eighth season at Ohio State. Prior to his arrival in Columbus, he served as the head coach at Xavier for three seasons and at Butler for one year.

The MSU-OSU Season Series
Michigan State and Ohio State split the season series, with each team winning on the opponent's home court. Draymond Green is leading the Spartans, averaging 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds against the Buckeyes. Keith Appling (12.5) and Adreian Payne (11.5) are also both scoring in double figures.

The Meeting In Columbus
Michigan State defeated Ohio State, 58-48, on Feb. 11, 2012, in Columbus. The Buckeyes jumped to out to a 9-4 lead, but a 3-pointer and two layups from Draymond Green put the Spartans in front 11-10. OSU took a 12-11 lead, but an Adreian Payne jumper put the Spartans ahead 13-12 at 11:22, and MSU would not trail again. MSU took a 35-25 lead into the break, turning eight Buckeye turnovers into 14 points. In the second half, the Spartans pushed their lead up to 12 at 41-29. MSU stalled on offense, but its defense allowed it to stay in front. With 6:24 remaining, a Jared Sullinger jumper pulled OSU within four points at 44-40. On MSU's next possession, Keith Appling hit two free throws. Ohio State had four shots on its next trip, but could not score. MSU answered with a Derrick Nix jump hook and the lead never dropped below six after that. Jared Sullinger led all players with 17 points and 16 rebounds, but also added 10 turnovers. Payne led MSU with a then-career-high 15 points. MSU shot 40.4 percent from the field, and held OSU to 26.4 percent, including 13.3 percent from 3-point range.

The Meeting In East Lansing
Ohio State defeated Michigan State, 72-70, on March 4, 2012, in East Lansing. MSU used an early 12-0 run to take a 19-7 lead, and held a 24-9 lead with 10:47 left in the first half. Ohio State battled to cut the Spartan lead to five points, but a 3-pointer and three-point play by Keith Appling pushed the lead back to 11 points and the Spartans held a 38-29 lead at the half. The Spartans out-shot the Buckeyes .517-.250 in the first stanza, but MSU also committed 10 turnovers as OSU hung around. The Buckeyes took a one-point lead with 9:53 remaining, and neither team led by more than two points in the final seven minutes. MSU took a 70-68 lead on two Draymond Green free throws with 1:08 left. On OSU's next possession, Aaron Craft got free on the baseline for an open jumper tying the game at 70. Green then missed a fadeaway jumper that would have put the Spartans back in front. William Buford responded with a contested jumper from the top of the key giving OSU a 72-70 lead with 1.0 seconds left. Buford led all scorers with 25 points, 23 of which came after Branden Dawson left the game with a season-ending knee injury. Draymond Green led MSU with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Brandon Wood added 15. In the second half, MSU shot 38.5 percent, compared to 58.6 percent for the Buckeyes.



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