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Michigan State Beats Out Ohio State, Purdue In Preseason Media Poll

Michigan State will edge out Ohio State for the Big Ten championship if a preseason panel of Big Ten media members has its way.

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MSU used two straight Final Four appearances, including a spot in the national title game two years ago, to convince the panel that it would win the conference for the third year in a row. MSU will return senior guard Kalin Lucas, the panel's preseason player of the year, to help in its' quest for a championship:

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Lucas earns his second straight Preseason Player of the Year honor after earning first-team All-Big Ten recognition following the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. The Big Ten Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2009, Lucas enters the season as the conference’s third-leading active scorer, with 1,418 career points. The guard is one of 10 Big Ten players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List.

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Lucas got injured last season during the NCAA tournament and decided to skip the NBA Draft and come back for his senior season. He figures to play a prominent role in returning MSU to the Final Four for the third consecutive year. Lucas was also named to the preseason All-Big Ten team, which includes Demetri McCamey of Illinois, JuJuan Johnson (Purdue), E'Twaun Moore (Purdue) and Jon Leuer (Wisconsin).

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The Spartans are currently ranked No. 2 in the AP preseason poll, trailing defending national champion Duke by a significant margin.