by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
A jumper by William Buford with a second remaining gave No. 10 Ohio State a win over No. 5 Michigan State, 72-70. The result means Ohio State, Michigan State and No. 13 Michigan finish the regular season in a three-way tie for the Big Ten title.
Prospects of a Buckeyes win seemed bleak early as the Spartans jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first half. But the momentum shifted back in Ohio State’s favor when Michigan State freshman guard Branden Dawson left the game with an injury. The Buckeyes battled back and eventually took the lead with under 10 minutes to play in the second half.
The lead then changed hands several times before Ohio State set up for its last shot. Buford, who finished with a game-high 25 points, connected on a jumper from just inside the three-point arc to give his team the win in East Lansing. It avenged an Ohio State home loss to the Spartans on Feb. 11.
Michigan State’s head coach Tom Izzo had mixed emotions after the game.
“I can’t express into words how disappointed I am,” Izzo said during the postgame presser, saying he wished he didn’t have to have the press conference. “And I can’t express into words how proud I am of what we’ve accomplished this year so far. And the two just don’t mix.”
Due to tiebreakers, Michigan State still has the one-seed in the Big Ten tournament, which kicks off on Thursday.