Michigan State just has Michigan’s number this year. The Spartans took down the Wolverines in the final of the Big Ten Tournament by a score of 65-60.
This was one was a rock fight early on between the two teams. Brazdeikis had the first nine points for the Wolverines and was a one-man show early on and the Wolverines were fortunate that the scored was still kept close with MSU not running away with it, either. The Spartans would hold a 17-15 lead at the under-8 timeout of the first half, but the Wolverines would surge ahead to take a 21-17 lead with around five minutes to go, fueled by some excellent sequences on both ends of the floor from Teske with Xavier Tillman on the bench.
The first half had some incredible theater, but also one of the scariest moments you will see in March. Spartan Kyle Ahrens fell to the court after a rebound on what looked like an ankle or leg injury and a painful scream could be heard over loud and electric cheers in an arena packed with nearly 23,000 fans. The medical staff would stretcher him off the court with an air cast on after being surrounded by his teammates on the floor and a standing ovation from both fanbases that followed stunned and concerned silence.
Both teams would continue to fight heading into the locker room with the Wolverines up after the first 20 minutes. The half was defined by the Wolverines going on a 20-6 run with Tillman on the bench.
Michigan roared out to as much as a 13 point lead at the start of the second half, but Michigan State went on another patented run in this series this season and got it to within two with 7:30 to play at 48-46. Each would continue to trade blows heading into the final media timeout of the game at the 3:43 mark with the Wolverines up 53-52.
However, the Spartans would ride a 7-0 run in 1:49 of game time, led by Winston, to take a 62-60 lead that they held with 13.3 seconds to play.
Now, we await the brackets.