INDIANAPOLIS—If Tom Izzo had written a script for his Michigan State team in the Big Ten Tournament, he couldn’t have come up with a better scenario.
Michigan State cruised past rival Big Ten regular-season champ Michigan, 69-55, Sunday to claim the 2014 Big Ten tourney. On the way to the team’s second Big Ten tourney final in the last three seasons and its fourth overall, the Spartans compiled several impressive highlights. None were better than Gary Harris crossover and powerful dunk before halftime and Branden Dawson’s fastbreak flush. Watch both plays in this post.
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Six Big Ten teams earned NCAA tournament berths Sunday night, including Nebraska, which is back in the field for the first time since 1998. The other Big Ten teams include Iowa, Big Ten regular-season champ Michigan, Big Ten tourney champ Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. See each team’s draw in this post.
(AP) Adreian Payne scored 18 points and Gary Harris and Branden Dawson added 15 each to lead No. 22 Michigan State to its second Big Ten tournament title in three years with a 69-55 upset of No. 8 Michigan on Sunday. The third-seeded Spartans (26-8) are getting healthy and will have some momentum entering the NCAA tournament with four wins in five games.
The lid is being taken off the James Franklin era. And it’s an exciting time. He brings energy and enthusiasm—not to mention a strong resume that saw him win 24 games in three seasons at Vanderbilt—to State College.
Day Three of the Big Ten Tournament was another exciting one, highlighted by plenty of outstanding individual performances. The Big Ten’s stars shined the brightest on the biggest stage, setting up a much-anticipated championship matchup between in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman provide their all-Saturday team from Day Three of the Big Ten Tournament.