The Stage is Set

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BTTTrophy.JPGThe stage is set for Championship Sunday.

Who wants it more?

No. 1 seed Michigan State (26-7) and No. 3 seed Ohio State (27-6) will battle Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS for the 2012 Big Ten Tournament Championship.

This will be the Spartans' third trip to the tournament final, having won the previous two trips in 1999 (as the No. 1 seed) and 2000 (No. 2).

Ohio State makes its sixth appearance overall, as the Buckeyes reached the finals in 2003 (No. 8), 2006 (No. 1), 2007 (No. 1), 2009 (No. 5), 2010 (No. 1) and 2012 (No. 3).  The Buckeyes won two of those championship games (2010, 2011) and finished runners-up in the other three.

In Big Ten Tournament play, the Spartans and Buckeyes have played three times.  In 2003, No. 8 Ohio State topped No. 5 Michigan State 55-54, in the semifinals, while fourth-seeded Michigan State ousted fifth-seeded OSU in the 2008 quarterfinals.  The following year, No. 5 Ohio State defeated top-seeded Michigan State 82-70 in semifinal action.

This season, the two teams split on the road.  Michigan State captured a 58-48 result in Columbus on Feb. 11, but dropped a 72-70 home contest to the Buckeyes on March 4, the last day of the regular season.

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