With just five games left on its regular season schedule, Michigan’s last opportunity to make a major move in the Big Ten title chase could come this evening when it hosts No. 6 Ohio State at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. Tonight big showdown between the Wolverines and Buckeyes is scheduled to get underway at 9:00pm ET on ESPN. The latest NCAA Basketball Point Spreads are favoring the visiting Buckeyes at -5.5 points; the game total is set at a typical Big Ten total of 126 points.
The Buckeyes had won six consecutive games heading into last Saturday’s meeting with Michigan State, but that did not save them from being upset 48-58 on their home floor. Ohio State, being the talented and resilient team that it is, wasted little time putting its loss to the Spartans in the rear-view mirror. Jared Sullinger and company licked their collective wound by beating a game Minnesota team 78-68 on Valentine’s Day.
Sullinger scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the bounce back win while guard William Buford tallied a game high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.
The victory improved Ohio State’s record to 22-4 overall and 10-3 in conference play; however, despite those sterling marks, the team has little margin for error. The Buckeyes are tied atop the Big Ten standings with the aforementioned Spartans and tonight’s opponent, Michigan, is very much in the picture at 9-4 in league play.
The Wolverines, who got drilled 49-64 in Columbus on January 29th, are 3-1 since their first meeting with Ohio State. No. 17 Michigan most recently got by Illinois 70-61 in Ann Arbor to bring its overall record to 19-7.
Michigan’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr., led the team with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Hardaway tallied just 10 points (4-for-21) in the Wolverines previous two games, a 54-64 loss at Michigan State and a 62-46 win at Nebraska.
Ohio State’s January win over Michigan marked its sixth straight victory in this series. The Wolverines last beat the Buckeyes in January of 2010 when they scored a 73-64 win in Ann Arbor. Michigan could put a wrinkle in that trend today, though. John Beilein’s squad is a perfect 14-0 at home this season and it has downed several quality teams at the Crisler Center, including Iowa State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Indiana.
Ohio State vs Michigan 2012 NCAA Basketball Point Spreads: Provided by Bovada.lv
Ohio State Buckeyes -5.5 (-110), Over 126 (-110)
Michigan Wolverines +5.5 (-110), Under 126 (-110)