Tony Carr struggles as Penn State's run ends in Big Ten semifinals


Michigan coach John Beilein's teams have shown a proclivity for peaking in March. ASSOCIATED PRESS

A win today would make MI just the third school to win back-to-back Big Ten Tournament championships.

MI awaits the victor of this evening's Penn State/Purdue game and will play on Sunday at 4 PM. The Wolverines are just a hard matchup for them as Nick Ward is not quick enough to deal with Wagner and the Michigan's guards were able to turn the corner driving at their Michigan State counterparts. Future NBA millionaire Miles Bridges was held to 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 13 and Cassius Winston had 11, but they only crossed into double figures with the MI band revving the Maize and Blue faithful at Madison Square Garden with yet another version of "Hail To The Victors".

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Following a technical foul on Spartan forward Nick Ward after the second tie-up, a fire was lit under Michigan State. "How we finished the first half and started the first 5, 6 minutes of the second half was what really helped us".

Junior guard Matt McQuaid hit two 3-pointers within the last four minutes of Saturday's contest.

That lead would grow to seven 4 minutes later, when Abdur-Rahkman and Simpson converted back-to-back layups to push MI in front 54-47 with 7:10 left. Many cleared out after Michigan beat Michigan State in Game One. First it was Nebraska in the quarterfinals, then most recently top-seeded Michigan State.

MI (20-13-3), which moved up to a tie for No. 8 in the Pairwise rankings (which determine who makes the NCAA Tournament), has won eight straight games.

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Michigan reached the title game by knocking off top-seeded Michigan State.

The Michigan Wolverines will take on the Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game on Sunday, start time at 4:30 PM ET, at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY.

The contest features fifth-seeded MI, the defending Big Ten tourney champs, against No. 3 seed Purdue. As a post presence for us, we can't afford to have her on the bench."Maryland is 11-0 in the Big Ten Tournament since joining the conference". Their one championship came in 2009. Carsen Edwards is leading Purdue with 18.7 points per game while Vincent Edwards is adding 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

Edwards made back-to-back 3s to make it 74-56 with 3:41 left and Purdue was on its way to play for a title.

In the regular season games between these two finalists, Purdue won them both, although the combined margin of victory was just five points. Penn State is the surprise of the group, as the No. 7 seed upset Ohio State on Friday and put itself on the cusp of the field of 68. I thought it was a little bit of youth and inexperience and not ready to deal with their pushback, " MSU coach Danton Cole said. Wagner leads MI with an average of 14.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while Simpson leads the Wolverines in assists with 3.6 assists per game this season. With four senior starters, Purdue does most everything well, except rebound. A night after giving up 17 offensive boards to Rutgers, the Boilermakers allowed 16 rebounds to Penn State.

Shep Garner was one of the few bright spots for Penn State in defeat. The Nittany Lions led much of the way, but Edwards made a 3 for Purdue with 2 seconds left in the half to send the Boilermakers to the break ahead 33-31.

Penn State: An NIT bid is likely coming the Nittany Lions way, though the big question beyond March is whether Carr returns for another season or heads to the National Basketball Association draft.

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