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Big Ten Geeks: Michigan State outshoots Wisconsin

Michigan State rode some hot jump-shooting to an eight-point win over Wisconsin in Saturday’s second semifinal. Right out of the gate, the Spartans were deadly accurate with their perimeter shooting, and there was little the Badgers could do to slow them. Michigan State poured in 43 points in a 27 possession first half, and, when combined with some stout interior defense spearheaded by Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson, it gave the Spartans a 17-point halftime advantage. To Wisconsin’s credit, the team came out with better energy and execution in the second half, but Michigan State just kept hitting shots anyway.

Spartans down Badgers, off to B1G tourney title game

(AP) Adreian Payne scored 18 points, Branden Dawson had 14 and No. 22 Michigan State beat No. 12 Wisconsin 83-75 on Saturday to reach the Big Ten tournament championship. The third-seeded Spartans (25-8) won consecutive games for the first time since winning 11 straight in a stretch over December and January. They will face No. 8 Michigan in the final on Sunday. The Spartans went on a 16-1 run in the first half and took a 37-16 lead when Gary Harris scored with 5:39 left before halftime. Frank Kaminsky had 28 points for Wisconsin. [ MORE: AP RECAP | BOX

B1G Tourney: BTN.com's all-Friday team

College basketball fans were treated to another outstanding day of the Big Ten tournament. In addition to some great games, we had plenty of exceptional individual performances on the hardwood. With four more games in the book and an exciting semifinal round set up for Saturday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman provide their all-Friday team from Day Two of the tourney. [ MORE: Which team impressed the most in Friday’s semifinals? ] DIENHART’S ALL-FRIDAY TEAM:  Ben Brust, Wisconsin. He notched a career-high 29 points, more than any other player on this day. The sharp-shooting guard

Saturday primers: Serious starpower in these semis

The Big Ten tourney semifinal field is set, and it will be No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 5 Ohio State and No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 3 Michigan State. Hard to complain about those matchups, huh? Get Tom Dienhart’s previews to both games, plus vote for your winners, in this post. [ MORE: Get all of our Big Ten tourney coverage ] No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 5 Ohio State The skinny on Michigan: The Wolverines were pushed to the max by No. 9 Illinois before carving out a 64-63 victory after the Illini’s final shot lipped off the rim.

Which B1G team impressed most in Friday's semis?

We had plenty of outstanding performances in Friday’s Big Ten Tournament action. Michigan notched a win over Illinois on a game-winning shot. Ohio State rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to defeat Nebraska. And both Wisconsin and Michigan State looked outstanding in blowout wins over Minnesota and Northwestern, respectively. So, we ask: Which Big Ten team had the most impressive performance on Friday? BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman debate that question here. [ MORE: Get Merriman’s Best of Day 2 at the Big Ten tourney ] Merriman: I’m going with Michigan State, simply because

B1G Tourney: Best sights & sounds from Day 2

Day Two of the Big Ten Tournament was filled with a little bit of everything. We had close games, blowout games and some incredible individual performances. Either way, it sets up what should be two outstanding semifinals Saturday, with Michigan vs. Ohio State and Wisconsin vs. Michigan State. Let’s take a look back at the best sights and sounds from Day Two of the Big Ten Tournament. [ MORE: Check out all of our Big Ten tourney coverage ] BEST WIN: No. 5 Ohio State beating No. 4 Nebraska, 71-67. The Buckeyes, the reigning Big Ten tourney champs, trailed by

Dienhart: Ben Brust was the man on this night

No. 2 seed Wisconsin delivered a significant blow to No. 7 seed Minnesota’s NCAA tourney hopes in an 83-57 victory over the Gophers on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tourney. Ben Brust scored a career-high 29 points to lead Wisconsin to the semifinal. Get Tom Dienhart’s instant reaction to Wisconsin’s win in this post. [ MORE: AP RECAP | BOX | PBP | ALL SCORES | CONNECT | LIVE PRESSERS ] Key moment: It seemed innocuous at the time, but it was a telling layup by Nigel Hayes with 5:37 left in the game. The bucket increased

Big Ten Geeks: Wisconsin pummels Minnesota

There are some that read way too much into the first occurrence of something. Like the hubbub made over the choice of an opening day pitcher, or the superstition that you can tell how a season will go by the first play. We Geeks pride ourselves in believing no such thing. We value large sample sizes over the random outcome of a single event. On this night, perhaps Wisconsin’s first bucket of the game was a harbinger of things to come. VIDEO: Just call him Sam "Dr. J" Dekker after this @BadgerMBB drive to the bucket. WATCH – http://t.co/EDn7sDn7AQ —

No. 2 Wisconsin rolls past No. 7 Minnesota, 83-57

(AP) Ben Brust scored a career-high 29 points and Frank Kaminsky had 12 rebounds to lead No. 12 Wisconsin to an 83-57 rout over Minnesota 83-57 in Friday’s Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. The second-seeded Badgers (26-6) have won nine of 10 and will face No. 22 Michigan State or 11th-seeded Northwestern in Saturday’s semifinals. Minnesota (20-13) was led by Deandre Mathieu with 18 points and Joey King with 14 but lost for the sixth time in their last eight tries against the Badgers [ MORE: AP RECAP | BOX | PBP | DIENHART | ALL SCORES | CONNECT | LIVE

Photo: Every B1G team has its own hot dog at tourney

You never know what you’re going to come across at the Big Ten Tournament. We have seen upset victories, buzzer-beater shots, and Big Ten style hot dogs… Yes, that’s right. On the main concourse at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Big Ten fans can purchase footlong hot dogs, made a certain way for all 12 Big Ten schools. Check it out: My personal favorite: The Wisconsin hot dog. Cheddar cheese sauce, pepper jack, provolone, Cheetos and pepper relish. How good does that sound?