Senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and sophomore guard Zavier Simpson also scored 15 points as the fifth-seeded Wolverines (27-7) won their eighth consecutive game. He was 5-of-5 from 3-point range, grabbed four boards and helped make sure UM will meet Michigan State in the BIG semifinals. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 13 and Cassius Winston had 11, but they only crossed into double figures with the MI band revving the Maize and Blue faithful at Madison Square Garden with yet another version of "Hail To The Victors". "Both teams played really good defense". There were two scrums after hard fouls, a technical foul was called against the Spartans' forward Nick Ward and referee Gene Steratore - yeah, the guy who ran the Super Bowl - lectured both Tom Izzo of Michigan State and John Beilein of Michigan after the nonsense.
A month ago, Ohio State defeated Michigan State, 4-2, in the series opener.
But Michigan had an answer, getting three straight stops and free throws from Matthews and Simpson to go back up 10 just 30 seconds later.
Abdur Rahkman talked about the energy the crowd provided. Michigan State was 9-of-10.
That's what Michigan State alum and Lansing, Michigan, resident Bill Burmeister did with his wife, Sherry, their son, Ben and his wife, Jenny.
Five years into its hockey existence, however, the Big Ten looks to have the super conference it sought all along.
For Michigan State, the Spartans are hopeful to remain as a #2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament with their eye on Detroit, as brand new Little Caesars Arena will host second and third round games.
The second-ranked Spartans haven't lost since, setting the stage for No. 1 seed Michigan State to exact some revenge on the 13th-ranked Wolverines on Saturday when they renew acquaintances at New York's Madison Square Garden in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.
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Ethan Happ posted a game-high 22 points for the Badgers, who were outrebounded 41-27. Shep Garner led the Nittany Lions (21-12) with 33 points.
The Boilermakers will be making their third appearance in the Big Ten championship since the tournament started in 1998. So that's one of the reasons why we were so excited to come play here.
This tournament has given Edwards the platform to show the rest of the conference, and the nation, why he leads the Boilermakers in scoring (18.6 points per game) and shoots better than 40 percent from beyond the arc.
Edwards made back-to-back 3s to make it 74-56 with 3:41 left and Purdue was on its way to play for a title. Purdue is putting up 81.6 points per game this season while allowing 65.4 per game. The Boilermakers admittedly had a somewhat easy run thanks to upsets, beating Rutgers and Penn State to get here. The sophomore faced an array of defenders, including Vincent Edwards, Nojel Eastern and P.J. Thompson.
The Wolverines entered Saturday afternoon playing their best basketball of the season and carried it over one more time, once again against rival Michigan State. Isaac Haas stood in the center of the Purdue defense, keeping the Lions from driving.
Methodically and with a painstaking pace, Purdue crawled to a 15-point lead as Penn State's tournament hopes slipped away.
MI trailed 29-26 at the half, but used a 10-2 burst to open the second half and take a 36-31 lead it never lost.
The biggest shot was like the game itself - a little rough around the edges.