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9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET5:00 PM GMT1:00 PM 北京时间10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST, Jan 5, 2019
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio  Attendance: 18,809

Michigan St.-Ohio St. Preview

Either Michigan State or Ohio State will emerge from their early season showdown in Columbus on Saturday with a winning streak intact.

The No. 8 Spartans (12-2, 3-0 Big Ten) have won seven in a row entering the game at Value City Arena against the No. 14 Buckeyes (12-1, 2-0), winners of six straight.

"We're gonna treat every Big Ten game very importantly because we want to win the Big Ten outright," MSU forward Xavier Tillman said. "So, every Big Ten game we take aggressively and not for granted."

The wild card will be the status of Michigan State junior guard Joshua Langford, who did not play in the Spartans' 81-55 defeat of Northwestern on Wednesday because of an injured left ankle.

"I'm hoping that maybe there's just a little wear and tear on it and that'll be it," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said afterward. "Hoping to know something by Friday for sure, but we decided we were going to keep him out of this (Northwestern) game, and we'll have to determine if it's the next game (he plays)."

Langford averages 15 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

In his absence, the Spartans overwhelmed the Wildcats behind 21 points from forward Nick Ward, all in the first half. The junior is from the Columbus suburb of Gahanna.

Spartans guard Cassius Winston, the Big Ten Player of the Week ending Dec. 30, had 13 points and 12 assists.

The Buckeyes are coming off an 82-64 win over High Point last Saturday in their final nonconference game, but by not playing well for parts of the game left coach Chris Holtmann unimpressed by his team's performance.

"Our concentration level has to improve or we're going to struggle in Big Ten play," he said. "We're going to have moments as a team where, if we think you're going to go through games and teams aren't going to make a run, that's not who we are. Teams are going to make runs.

"We have a lot to improve on… We've got a long ways to go. We're going to get knocked around and beat around and go through some really difficult stuff in Big Ten play. We'll see how we survive through all that."

Izzo, on the other hand, is pleased how the Spartans played against Northwestern.

"I like the way we practiced this week," he said. "It's a grind over Christmas because you try to have two-a-days, where you have meetings and there's nothing to do and you're just constantly with the guys, and days are long and, boy, they handled it really well.

"But you know me, I'm never happy so I guess I might as well continue the new year what I did with the old year."

Ohio State forward Andre Wesson said knowing the non-league portion of the schedule is done will keep the Buckeyes focused the remainder of the season.

"Now it's the fun part, playing in the Big Ten and competing against other good teams," he said.

The fun part for Michigan State includes three of the next four games on the road. The Spartans leave Columbus to set up a visit from Purdue before traveling to Penn State and Nebraska.

Ohio State is also hitting the road - to Rutgers and Iowa - next week.

Updated January 4, 2019

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