By Matt McCoy
To listen to Thad Matta talk about the OSU/Michigan State match-up click HERE:
The Big Ten is considered college basketball's best conference in 2013. Road wins are supposed to be few and far between...just not this week.
Tuesday night, Wisconsin beat Indiana in Bloomington. Wednesday, Michigan State won at Penn State and Purdue beat Nebraska in Lincoln. Thursday, Michigan beat Minnesota in The Barn and Northwestern upset Illinois in Champaign. Five games and five wins for the visitors.
"Hopefully it continues, and then resets itself going into next week," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said Friday as the Buckeyes prepare to visit Michigan State Saturday night.
The Spartans and Buckeyes will enter Saturday as two of four teams in the Big 10 with one conference loss. Only Wisconsin, coming off the upset win at Indiana, remains perfect in conference play.
"You just have to have your team ready to hopefully play their best basketball and know that there's going to be nothing easy in any game(no matter where you play) from here on in," Matta said. "You make a mistake and the other team makes you pay."
It's a key game for Ohio State, at a venue considered one of the toughest in college basketball but recently there have been some happy memories for Buckeye teams in East Lansing.
Ohio State had lost nine straight in the Breslin Center, dating back to 1992, until breaking through with a 79-68 win in 2006 that helped Thad Matta earn his first Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes, in fact, have won four of the last six at Michigan State, including last year's dramatic 72-70 victory on the final day of the regular season. William Buford's contested top of the key jumper swished through the net with less than a second to go, securing a share of the league title. (You can re-live Buford's heroics below)
"It's still right there in terms of toughest venues to play in," Matta said. "It's a great college environment."
The Spartans are unbeaten at home this season, meaning the Buckeyes are the last visiting team to win there. Saturday's game is at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
A reminder that Monday night from 7-8 p.m. former Buckeye captain and WTVN analyst Tony White and I are on with basketball bucksline where we'll recap the Michigan State game and look ahead to Buckeye games next week at home against Iowa and at Penn State.