Purdue-Michigan for the title: the first time


The Boilermakers have only won the Big Ten tournament once, in 2009. 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". Today's game takes place from Madison Square Garden in NY and will air live on CBS. Six weeks ago MI was 17-6 and just another team in the middle of the Big Ten.

"It's been great. It's always a dream come true as a little boy growing up wanting to play at Madison Square Garden, just exciting", Michigan's Jaaron Simmons said. "It got kind of loud in there". The Spartans have dropped their last two meetings against the fifth-seeded Wolverines, who have won six straight Big Ten tournament contests after claiming the title last season and enter this game winners of seven straight.

The location was ideal for two sets of Big Ten fans.

Of the four teams still playing, three finished the regular season in the top five of the Big Ten standings.

Here's a small silver lining for Michigan State: The Spartans can't face the Wolverines again unless it's in San Antonio at the Final Four. "It's a good way to go out, I love playoff hockey on campus".

MSU had a 29-26 lead going into halftime, but only shot 35.5 percent from the floor while U-M shot 35.5 percent from the floor. "In the second half, they got really good looks and didn't make them", Beilein said.

"I didn't notice anything different", Williams said.

"This was clearly not our best night offensively", Williams said.

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"We acted surprised that he was going to shoot it", Izzo said after the game. Purdue has really struggled to cover and I think MI has a chip on its shoulder to get a win over Purdue after two close calls. The Wolverines focused late and kept their cool early. "I think that was the goal, and now you're seeing that".

The semifinals were a sellout, 19,812. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan, and Penn State are essentially tournament locks through the first round of conference postseason series.

MI awaits the victor of this evening's Penn State/Purdue game and will play on Sunday at 4 PM. But the place was packed and loud for the Wolverines and Spartans, with MI fans especially making their presence heard.

The depth of the league was on display in the opening round of the conference tournament over the weekend.

MI was the best team in the Big Ten Conference at tournament time a year ago, and things aren't changing.

"We had to sacrifice a lot to put ourselves in this position to be in the Garden", Michigan coach John Beilein, who coached West Virginia here in the Big East Tournament, said after the second round. "We felt disappointed because we did not handle that very well and because we feel we've done that better than what we showed here". "We just have to get back to the shop and become the team that we can become". "We know there's a really good contingency of MI fans here in NY". The team is third-best in turnover percentage.

"As an individual player and a team, it's about rhythm and you are accustomed to the rhythm of the season and obviously a tournament like this or an NCAA Tournament where you play every day or every other day, that's what you want to maintain a sense of rhythm", Hill said, adding, "Sort of uncharted waters for all these coaches and these teams".

Don't get stuck on Haas: Too many times we watch Isaac Haas back his defender down to the hoop only to kick it out to someone wide open for three.

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