Recap: Michigan vs. Michigan State
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Michigan State got the final laugh against in-state rival Michigan, as the 22nd-ranked Spartans, behind Adreian Payne's 18 points and nine rebounds, pounded the eighth-ranked Wolverines, 69-55, in the Big Ten Tournament final.
Michigan State (26-8) claimed its fourth Big Ten tourney title and second in three years despite shooting just 2-of-17 from 3-point range. An hour later it was revealed the Spartans will play in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed.
The rough outside shooting display was offset by a big advantage down low, as the Spartans owned a 38-28 edge on the glass while also receiving 15 points apiece from Branden Dawson and Gary Harris.
"We proved that when we get everything back, we're a very, very good team," said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, referring to his team's injury-prone campaign. "Unlike some of the teams I've had, they can play on the offensive end, they can play on the defensive end."
Michigan (25-8) was riding a seven-game winning streak coming in and took both regular-season meetings from the Spartans, but the Wolverines, who were still awarded a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region, shot just 31.5 percent from the floor.
Nik Stauskas netted a team-high 17 points, but the Big Ten Player of the Year scored just four after halftime.
The Spartans fell back to the No. 3 seed in the tournament after losing three of four entering the week, but they handled the outright regular season champs Sunday after falling behind by five early on.
Harris netted seven points during a 12-0 Spartans run that turned the tide, including a dunk off a steal that capped the surge and provided Michigan State with a 16-9 lead.
The margin reached double digits, 24-14, following two Travis Trice free throws past the midway point of the opening half, and Harris sent the Spartans into the break with a 38-29 lead when he crossed over Max Bielfeldt at the elbow and soared in for a tomahawk slam just before the buzzer.
The Wolverines missed their first six shots of the second half, and Michigan State's subsequent 8-0 run -- four coming from Payne, four from Dawson -- stretched the margin to 46-29.
The difference stayed in double digits the rest of the way.
"Huge congratulations to Michigan State. They deserve it. They were better than us today, and we move forward and look forward to the NCAAs," Wolverines head coach John Beilein said.Game Notes
MSU improved to 4-0 in Big Ten tourney finals ... Michigan was playing in its
first championship round of the event since 1998, a game the Wolverines won
but had to vacate due to NCAA violations ... The Wolverines had claimed wins
in six of the previous eight encounters with MSU ... The Spartans made 67.6
percent (25-of-37) of their shots inside the arc.