No. 10 MI pounds Minnesota | Big Ten

by Leon Thompson March 21, 2019, 1:01
No. 10 MI pounds Minnesota | Big Ten

Michigan State swept its in-state rivals with a 77-70 win in Ann Arbor and a 75-63 victory last Saturday in East Lansing to win the conference regular-season title. Winston, the Big Ten player of the year, has scored 50 points in the two victories over MI this season.

The top-seeded Spartans (28-6) rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half and scored the game's final 10 points to capture their first championship since 2016.

Unfortunately, for Michigan's sake, Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston is still playing for the Spartans, just like he was on February 24 and March 9. They will try to become the first team to win the conference tournament three years in a row when they face No. 6 Michigan State - a 67-55 victor over Wisconsin - on Sunday.

After Murphy scored in the paint to end the drought for Minnesota, Jon Teske buried a 3 for MI that hit the flat part of the back of the rim.

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Wisconsin's loss means they are eliminated from Big Ten Tournament and will likely head into the NCAA Tournament as a four or five seed.

Duke versus Michigan State would be one heckuva Elite 8 matchup if both teams make it there. The Wolverines beat Montana past year on the way to the national championship game. I'm glad we don't have a week or two weeks to sit there and think about that last game. "We've got to embrace this opportunity, because we might not get it again".

Henry made a free throw and missed the second, making it a three-point game. Poole then appeared to get bumped by Winston - Michigan State had a foul to give - as he launched a long 3 off the dribble, but there was no call. Guard Kyle Ahrens suffered a leg injury in Sunday's win against MI but a team spokesman said X-Rays were negative. He will have an MRI once the softball-sized swelling goes down. Ahrens lands on his left foot while going for a rebound. Medical staff rushed to his side and placed his lower left leg in an air cast before carting him off the court.

Ahrens returned to the sideline on crutches with just over 14 minutes left on the game. A conference tournament championship would also be a nice prize before they set their sights on another deep NCAA run.

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