Aaron Craft's career-high 21 points led the No. 18-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to a thrilling 68-60 home victory Sunday over the No. 4-ranked Michigan State Spartans, who suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
Down 31-25 at the half, the Buckeyes (20-5, 10-7) reversed their fortunes by playing Spartan-like basketball: A gritty, smart and effective style that has worked wonders for Tom Izzo and Co.
Despite blowout losses to Indiana and Wisconsin, the Buckeyes showed that they're a team to fear come March. Knocking off a Top-Five team at home is impressive under any circumstance, and Thad Matta's team certainly looks capable of stringing together a few victories in late March and early April.
Keith Appling was once again a no-show for the Spartans (22-6, 11-4), spending a considerable amount of time on the bench to complement a lackluster line of three points, three steals, a rebound, an assist and a steal.
Adreian Payne couldn't be stopped in the first half; he grabbed six rebounds in the opening 10 minutes and finished with a career-high 15 rebounds to go with 12 points.
Gary Harris led Michigan State with 14 points and Derrick Nix scored 12.
Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan State Spartans basketball writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81
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