By:Lester Johnson:|4.0 Sports Media
New York-Arriving late Thursday night Michigan State fumbled through a victory over the Badgers 63-60 Friday probably looking past them, looking for a rematch with the Wolverines. Michigan had previously beaten the Spartans early in the season 82-72 when MSU were ranked #2 in the country. So the Spartans were definitely looking for another crack at the Wolverines.
Before a sellout crowd of 19,812 on hand the Wolverines beat their cross town rivals 75-64. This game marks the first dellout of a Big Ten Tournament session since 2014. The Wolverines advances to play for its second consecutive Big Ten Tournament title. The last school to win consecutive Big Ten Tournaments was Ohio State in 2010. and 2011.
The Spartans are now 29-16 all-time in the Big Ten Tournamment. Also Michigan State are now 8-2 when seeded No.1 in the Big Ten Tournament and NO.1 seeds are 34-13 in the tournament.
MSU went on a 10-0 run over a 2:47 span to tie the game at 14-14 in the first half. In that half the Spartans shot a dismal 35.5% (11-31) from the field and 22.2% beyond the arc. Jaren Jackson played well in the paint and put Michigan State ahead at the break 29-26.
“Well I thought we got off to a poor start, and give them credit. Yet, the guys that hits the 3s were not the guys that normall you thought would make 3s. I thought Matthews hit two of them and Simpson hits one, they had nine points. And, you know, not the players’ fault as much as it what we were going to do in the scouting report. So we did some of the things we needed to. We just did not do a good job making shots and they won fair and square and deserved to win.” Michigan State head coach Tomm Izzo said.
Michigan went on a early 9-0 run early in the second half to open up a 36-31 lead. After the run the Spartans never recovered from it. Michigan improves to 1-1 against Michigan State in the tournament. The Wolverines advances to play for its second consecutive Big Ten Tournament title. The last school to win consecutive Big Ten Tournaments was Ohio State in 2010 and 2011. Michigan is now 21-17 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan outrebounded the Spartans 36-33. The Wolverines in the second half extended their perimeter defense and forced MSU to take tough shots on the elbows with more length coming at them.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur score 15, Zavier Simpson 15, Charles Matthews 12 and Moritz Wagner 15 all scored in double figures in the contest. Michigan has had at least four players score in double figures in each of their games this tournament.
“We won, I don’t know, 13, 12, 13 straight. So we got that ability as a team to make runs and put wins together. So this was-like I said, it was a big game for us but they came out on top with the victory. But that’s not going to alter our end goal and what we think we’re capable as a team.” Michigan Cassius Winston said.
For the Spartans Miles Bridges scored 17 points, Jaren Jackson Jr 13 and Cassius Winston 11 all scored in double figures. Both Bridges and Winston had double figures in each of MSU’S tournament games. Bridges became the 49th player in the program history to score 1,000 career points. With his 17 points in the game, he now has 1,015 career points.