Michigan's improved defense keys win over Nebraska


But that was all for Rutgers. With AP Photos.Carsen Edwards scored 27 points and No. 8 Purdue pulled away from Penn State in the second half of a 78-70 victory that put the Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the second time in three seasons.

Geo Baker scored 25 points for Rutgers (15-19), the 14th seed.

Isaiah Roby had 16 points and seven rebounds and James Palmer Jr. scored 16 for Nebraska (22-10), which earned a double-bye after finishing fourth in the Big Ten regular-season standings.

It's one thing to have a huge margin for error and win games without playing well. "To win two and push Purdue to the max means a lot".

In the first half, Robinson reached a career milestone and surpassed 1,000 career points.

"That's the type of game you live for", Spartans point guard Cassius Winston said. "We get another crack at it as seniors and we're going to take advantage of it". Our depth needs to produce if we expect to make a run for San Antonio. Rutgers responded with a jumper to keep it a one-possession game. The Scarlet Knights had 17 offensive rebounds. Kam Williams and Jaesean Tate each added 10 points for the Buckeyes (24-8), who finished the conference slate tied for second with a 15-3 record. You could ask anybody we play: we're a good team.

"But I didn't see fatigue from them at the end", Purdue coach Matt Painter said.

Here are Michigan's three stars of the game. He talked about how his team understood it needed to stack wins through February because its schedule included so many at home and so few elite opponents. Wagner leads MI with an average of 14.3 points and 7 rebounds per game while Simpson leads the Wolverines in assists with 3.6 assists per game this season.

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights were invited to join the Big Ten five years ago, much to the surprise of most college sports fans who wondered what value a program with little football and basketball success over the last four decades would bring to a tradition-rich conference based in the Midwest.

The Nittany Lions did not call time out after the steal and Carr made a pass from the foul line to a wide-open Reaves underneath.

Along with losing countless shooters for open 3-point looks, Nebraska had several other uncharacteristic defensive breakdowns over the course of the day.

The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (29-3) defeated Wisconsin, 63-60, Miles Bridges scored 20 points in 7 of 15 shooting from the field and 3 of 4 from the free throw line.

"Saturday in March in New York City [against Michigan State]", Beilein said, "it should be exciting".

The positive: Michigan State found a way to win its 13th straight game and advance to the conference semifinals. It sure seems like it could be easier than Michigan State tends to make it.

"I was disappointed in my team, maybe in myself too", Izzo said. MI made us play that way.

"I don't think there's any question the guys kind of felt a burden of expectation", he said. "Our goal is to be Big Ten champions".

Indiana: The Hoosiers lost to just about every good team they played this season, but could still squeeze into the NIT. The point guard made four 3-pointers on the night en route to a 26-point performance, and he was joined by Vincent Edwards and Mathias in making more than three 3-pointers for the Boilermakers.

Mo Wagner compiled 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead 13th-ranked MI to a 77-58 win over Nebraska in their quarterfinal game. The Wolverines not only wanted a further shot at the title and a chance for a two-game sweep of rival Michigan State in Saturday's semifinals, they played like they wanted a dose of revenge. The Spartans won 69-55.

MI coach John Beilein can make baskets with his brain.

Following a technical foul on Spartan forward Nick Ward after the second tie-up, a fire was lit under Michigan State.

Any hope of a 1-seed evaporated in a NY minute.



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