Michigan Basketball advanced in the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday afternoon in Chicago with a 76-49 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the semifinal round, setting up a third meeting with the Michigan State Spartans on Sunday with the title on the line.
Isaiah Livers led the Wolverines in scoring with a career-high 21 points off the bench, while Zavier Simpson finished just shy of another double-double with 15 points and nine assists.
The Gophers came ready for a fight in the first half of Saturday’s game with the teams going back and forth early on and tied 13-13 at the 10:52 mark. From there, Michigan got rolling, finishing the half on a 25-6 run on 56.7 percent shooting from the floor to roar out to a 38-19 lead at the half.
The Wolverines would maintain their big lead and expand on it further, getting all the way out to a 73-39 lead at the 6:07 mark of the second half, fueled by the huge half from Livers. The benches would be emptied and Michigan would finish off its blowout in impressive and emphatic fashion.
Michigan, winner of the last two Big Ten Tournaments, now goes up against a Spartans squad that last won this event in 2016. The last time these two played for the tournament title, No. 3 seed MSU beat No. 1 seed Michigan 69-55. This year, the seeds will be reversed.
Tomorrow’s game from United Center in Chicago between the Wolverines and Spartans tips off at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m CT and will be broadcast nationally via CBS.