What’s At Stake For Both Michigan And Ohio State On Sunday

This rivalry game has some serious implications

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No matter the sport, it’s a rivalry game whenever Michigan and Ohio State clash. Sunday, the No. 23 Buckeyes are set to host the No. 19 Wolverines in a game that will help to officially kick off a wild month of March on the hardwood. Of course, there’s far more on the line in this game than just bragging rights.

  • Sunday’s game should have a big impact on seeding for the Big Ten Tournament.

  • Both teams enter March on a good run of games, but only one can keep it going.

  • Michigan hasn’t beaten Ohio State on the road since 2014.

  • Ohio State eked out a 61-58 win at Michigan earlier this season.

Big Ten Tournament Seeds

Heading into this weekend’s action, Michigan and Ohio State are tied for seventh place in the Big Ten standings. Considering how tight things are at the top of the league, the winner of this game will still have a chance to make a push for fourth place in the league, which would mean a double-bye straight to the quarterfinals in the Big Ten Tournament. Odds are, either team would have to win out to make that happen, so there’s no chance of a double-bye for the loser. At the same time, both teams are just 1.5 games ahead of the bottom four teams in the Big Ten. The loser of this game could potentially fall to 11th or lower if they can’t win their final two games of the regular season. That would mean playing on the first day of the Big Ten Tournament and having to win five games in five days to win the tournament.

Staying Hot

Both Michigan and Ohio State had their troubles in January, but both were among the best teams in the Big Ten in February. Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines have won seven of their last nine games. Obviously, only one team can win on Sunday and carry that momentum into March. It may be more important for Michigan, as the Wolverines lost to Wisconsin mid-week and close out the regular season with Maryland next weekend. Of course, Ohio State has to play both Illinois and Michigan State to close out the season, so the Buckeyes could also spiral if they stumble on Sunday.

First Time for Everything

The Michigan seniors have been to three Sweet 16s and one Final Four. They’ve also won a game in every Big Ten arena except the one they’ll play on Sunday. The Wolverines haven’t won in Columbus since 2014. Winning there on Sunday to earn a victory in every Big Ten venue over four years would be a huge accomplishment for the Michigan seniors, especially for Ohio natives Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske.

A Little Revenge

Whether it’s redemption or revenge, the Wolverines would love to make up for losing to Ohio State on their home floor earlier this season. Naturally, there was some controversy with a replay review at the end of the game, which won’t sit well with Michigan. The Wolverines were also without Isaiah Livers in the game, although they could be playing Sunday without Eli Brooks, who sat out Thursday’s loss to Wisconsin because of injury.