Michigan upends Michigan State to reach Big Ten final

Michigan Hockey: Michigan Sweeps Wisconsin, Advances To Big Ten Semifinals

"You have a minute to play!" he said.

Michigan's fan base showed up huge on Saturday as well. And the fifth-seeded Wolverines won, taking a hard-fought 75-64 decision and ending top-seeded MSU's 13-game winning streak.

Defenseman Damian Chrcek's first goal of the season, with 1:22 left in the game, was assisted by defenseman Zach Osburn and freshman center Gino Esteves. The run ended with a one-point loss against OR in the Sweet 16.

It is a return to the championship stage that MI reached last season and walked off with a championship. Sparty had a hearty contingent as well - and it made for a frenzied environment - but Michigan's presence in the building pulsed through most of the action. "Tough to score on Michigan State". To come out like we did these two games, it wasn't our best, but we were able to do it. "We've got Zavier (Simpson), Jaaron (Simmons) - some inner-city kids on this team". Tony Carr poured in 25 points for the second straight night and found Josh Reaves for a game-winning layup with 3.1 seconds left.

Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman made a critical three-pointer from long range that hit the back rim and the front rim before bouncing through the net. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo acknowledged that the scouting report he provided his players did not recognize those as possible.

"A lot of energy in the building and we definitely fed off it", Abdur-Rahkman said.

Miles Bridges figured out MI head coach John Beilein's defense.

"The crowd was huge, " said Michigan's Duncan Robinson, who scored 13 points off the bench, including an 8-for-11 effort at the free-throw line. First it was Nebraska in the quarterfinals, then most recently top-seeded Michigan State.

"They're not flawless yet, but they really work at it", Beilein said.

Wisconsin scored first, just 23 seconds in on a shot by sophomore forward Trent Frederic.

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Joshua Langford's recent struggles continued, as he finished with just two points.

Purdue, the conference's No. 1 seed, secured its place in the conference title game with a 78-70 win over Penn State Saturday evening. Bridges (16.9 points) reached the 20-point mark for the 11th time in his sophomore campaign after finishing with 20 against the Badgers and he needs only two more points to become the 49th player in program history to reach 1,000 for his career.

Purdue had one last gasp when Alan Eldridge sank an National Basketball Association three-pointer to make it 70-65 with 1:30 left.

Strong defense was necessary to keep MI competitive during a first half in which star center Moritz Wagner missed all seven shots he attempted from the field.

"Coach and I have a really good relationship", said Wagner, who stood in front of the MI fans after the game and repeatedly waived his arms to encourage the celebration. A university investigation found that family members had dinner with an agent a year ago.

The win essentially makes MI a lock for the NCAA Tournament - a remarkable feat for U-M coach Mel Pearson, who is in his first year as head coach of the Wolverines.

"All of a sudden, a few went in for us and Moe got going", MI coach John Beilein said. "So we might just go to the beach in East Lansing and see if we can play a little beach basketball". The Wolverines were the No. 4 seed and defeated Iowa and Minnesota on its way to the title game.

MI missed a ton of open looks during the first half, but allowed the Spartans to stay in the game on the offensive glass. "This was my great motivation at halftime: I told him, 'Hey Moe, are you going to make a shot?"

Some might call it an upset or MI getting hot at the right time. "It really helps, I'm sure our guys watched that game".



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