Spartans Looking for Two Big Wins to Stay in Big Ten Tourney Hunt

It’s the final stretch of the season for the Spartans. With five games to go, two at home and three away, Michigan State sits in the middle of the Big Ten table with seven points and needs to come away with four or five wins in order to have a chance at qualifying for the Big Ten Tournament.

“Anything is possible. We really have to take care of the next one and I know that’s coach speak,” head coach Tom Saxton said. “We just know where we are right now. We’re in a pack of teams that are all chasing for those last one or two playoff spots and it’s doable.”

Michigan State will face Ohio State University at home on Thursday. The Buckeyes are currently 5-7-2 overall and began their 2014 season with three tough Atlantic Coast Conference opponents: Duke University, the University of North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

The Buckeyes sit a point ahead of the Spartans in the Big Ten standings and are coming off two ties in their last two games.

“They seem to be from film studies, a very direct team, a very good team,” Saxton said. “They have always been traditionally athletic. I think it is a good matchup for us quite frankly with our backline. We are going to have to deal with a lot of direct play into our box in the air.”

After their game on Thursday, the Spartans will have to quickly turn around for their last home game on Sunday against Penn State University, a team that currently sits tied with 21 points at the top of the Big Ten table with the University of Michigan.

“I am really happy to have a Thursday-Sunday with Penn State coming in as a second game,” Saxton said. “We are most concerned with Ohio State, but I like the spacing this weekend. I think that will help us because Penn State will be a tough team to deal with less than 48 hours of rest.”

Brooks Laimbeer is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports

Photo: Hannah McEnroe/Impact Sports