On the Ninth Day of Christmas, ESPN Gave Me...A Top-Nine Matchup

Samantha CookeCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Jai Lucas #10 of the Texas Longhorns dribbles the ball against Dexter Strickland #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels at Cowboys Stadium on December 19, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

This is a bit of a stretch for the ninth day of Christmas, but it is a good matchup. Number Nine Michigan State will head to Austin to take on No. 2 Texas. They face off tonight with tip off at seven EST.

Texas began the season killing their first nine opponents, winning by an average of almost 32 points.

The Longhorns faced their first real challenge when they hosted the defending National Champion North Carolina Tarheels. The Longhorns won 103 to 90. Now, they face the National Runner-up in Michigan State.

Michigan State is currently 9-2, with losses coming to Florida and at North Carolina. They have more road experience than Texas, but neither team has played a very tough schedule.

If the past is any indication of this game, this favors the Spartans. Texas and Michigan State have squared off the past three seasons with the Spartans winning all three meetings.

All three meetings were on neutral court, so home court advantage will certainly help Texas in this matchup.

The last time Michigan State played in Austin, they sealed a spot in the Final Four in 2005, beating Kentucky in double overtime.

This game could be an early indication of an elite eight or final four matchup. Texas is the team to beat this season. This will be their second big test of the season. The Longhorns have already passed one test; will they pass the other?