MI heated up in the second half to beat the Spartans, 75-64, in the conference tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. They were granted a four-seed, but were beaten by double digits by MI, the very same team whom they once dominated months ago. The Spartans have a history of playing down to competition, but still grinding out wins for the most part. "We are one step closer, but we still have to stay locked in on the task at hand".
The fifth-seeded Wolverines will get to defend their title on Sunday, when they will face the victor of the second semifinal between third-seeded Purdue and seventh-seeded Penn State. I think there will be a lot of Michigan fans here, but I expect Michigan State fans to travel well. Sophomore guard Anthony Cowan added 16 points and freshman forward Bruno Fernando had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Offensively, Michigan State needs to be aggressive. One more slam by Sanders, this time on a baseline drive that had just a touch of former Knicks star John Starks in it, capped Rutgers biggest basketball victory in decades.
Wagner, who finished 4 of 14 from the field, laughed when it was mentioned. That was we just ran into a buzz saw with MI, but I dont think that undoes what weve already accomplished.. "He can say that". I'll tell you, this team came down to this tournament to make a run to win a championship.
The positive: Michigan State found a way to win its 13th consecutive game and advance to the conference semifinals. As of late, teams have been trying to switch out their defenses against us, Abdur-Rahkman said.
Wagner and Abdur-Rahkman were both limited by foul trouble in Michigan's opening tournament victory against Iowa on Thursday. By the end of his surge, the Wolverines led 36-31.
Wagner had three baskets and a free throw, with a drive to the hoop seemingly getting him going. They rarely got into transition and didn't get going until scoring the final eight points to lead 32-28. MSU was 10-of-11 at the free-throw line, while Wisconsin was just 2-of-6.
Michigan: Hitting stride late once again.
Wagner's early second-half surge gave MI a lead it would never give up, knocking off the top-seeded Spartans, 75-64, in front of a roaring sellout of 19,812. "They've done the things they've needed to do over a long period of time", Izzo said.
Nebraska would only record one respectable win throughout the regular season, that being against MI in January, where NU would not only win that game, but would DESTROY the Wolverines.
Kam Williams and Jae'Sean Tate each added 10 points for the Buckeyes, who will wait for their invitation to the NCAA Tournament in a little more than a week.
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