Through 20 minutes, Ohio State looked primed to pull an upset in East Lansing. The slumping Buckeyes led the 11th-ranked Spartans 31-25 at intermission.
The final 20 minutes were a much different story. Ohio State imploded, scoring only 13 second-half points and losing 62-44 as Michigan State ended the game on a 20-2 run.
The deeper numbers are even uglier. Ohio State shot just 4-for-21 from the field and turned the ball over 11 times in the second half.
After starting the season 12-1, the Buckeyes have gone into a tailspin after the new year. Beginning with an 86-77 home loss to Michigan State on January 5, OSU has lost eight of 12.
At 16-9 overall and 6-8 in the Big Ten, it looks like they are trending on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. The final six games of the regular season will be critical.
Ohio State plays Northwestern twice and then four games against ranked opponents (Iowa, Maryland, Purdue and Wisconsin. A 4-2 mark in those six games would put them at 20-11 overall and 10-10 in league play.
That might be enough to sneak them into the Big Dance, depending on what happens in the Big Ten Tournament. However, anything less than four wins in the final six games doesn't bode well for their tourney hopes.