Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, March 4, 2018
NEW YORK — Purdue beat Michigan two times this season. No way were the Wolverines going to let the Boilermakers best them a third time.
The Wolverines won the matchup with the most riding on it Sunday, though, taking the Big Ten tourney final, 75-66, to claim the program's second consecutive event crown.
John Beilein's team arrived in New York on a roll, winners of five in a row. And the Wolverines kept on rolling in the Big Apple. The No. 5 Wolverines were playing their fourth game in four days, but it didn't show as they took down No. 12 Iowa, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 1 Michigan State and No. 3 Purdue. This is familiar territory for Michigan, which made a similar run last year when it shocked the world by winning last year's tourney as a No. 8 seed.
This title game proved to be one of the most lopsided games of this Big Ten tourney, a laugher that essentially was over early in the second half. Despite the loss, the Boilermakers figure to be a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tourney. Michigan is shaping up as a No. 4 seed.
Top player: Moe Wagner was the man on this day. The lithe senior big man tallied 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting
Top shot: There was no singular dagger that Michigan threw to knock out Purdue. Rather, the Wolverines had a volley of shots to dump this team. If Michigan wasn't cashing in an easy layup, it was draining a 3-pointer. They made it look easy all day, shooting 50 percent.
Top dunk: Take your pick of any number from Michigan. Let's go with Jon Teske's slam that gave the Wolverines an 18-point lead early in the second half. It was symbolic, as it was Michigan's biggest lead of the day and sent an emphatic message that it wasn't going to lose on this day.
Top stat: 23, Purdue's 3-point percentage (4-of-17). It was all about the defense for the Wolverines, who totally muted Purdue. Star Boiler guard Carsen Edwards was rationed to 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
Top moment: Moe Wagner and his mom celebrating the team's second straight Big Ten title and the junior's most outstanding player honor.
It was over when: A dunk by sudden-star Jon Teske-who had 14 big points off the bench-gave Michigan an 18-point lead (66-48) 6:02 into the second half. The lead proved to be insurmountable, as a late Purdue run really never got them within shouting distance.
- This is the third time Michigan has won the Big Ten title, taking the crown in 2017 and 1998, a championship it had to vacate later.
- Michigan becomes third team to win consecutive Big Ten tourney titles, joining 2010-11 Ohio State and 1999-2000 Michigan State. The eight straight Big Ten tourney wins are tied for longest Big Ten tourney streak of all-time.
- Michigan has won nine in a row and 11 of 12.
- Purdue won the Big Ten tourney in 2009. It lost the title game in 1998 and 2016 in addition to this season.
- Entering today, Purdue's five losses were by a combined 15 points. Today, the Boilermakers lost by nine.
- Since ripping off 19 wins in a row, Purdue is 5-4 with wins vs. Penn State (twice), Illinois, Minnesota and Rutgers.