Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says his players better not treat a top-five matchup with Ohio State as if it's just another game.
The fifth-ranked Spartans will host the third-ranked Buckeyes on Tuesday night.
How the starting point guards perform might be pivotal at the Breslin Center.
Both traditional conference 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 Big Ten teams such as No. 4 Wisconsin - with a lot of basketball left to play.