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Big Ten showdown

TUESDAY, JAN. 7, 2014

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said his players better not treat a top-five matchup with Ohio State as if it’s just another basketball game. The fifth-ranked Spartans will host the third-ranked Buckeyes tonight ( 6 p.m., ESPN). How the starting point guards perform might be pivotal. Both traditional Big Ten powers have good ones, who play differently. Ohio State’s Aaron Craft does it all other than consistently score a lot. Michigan State’s Keith Appling, meanwhile, looks for his offense early and often both inside and outside the paint. The winner will move into first place by a half-game ahead of No. 4 Wisconsin – with a lot of ball left to play. – AP



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