Michigan basketball owns Michigan State this year. The Wolverines are one win away from owning the Big Ten Tournament title for the second year in a row.
Michigan heated up in the second half to beat the Spartans, 75-64, in the conference tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. John Beilein’s team will face either Purdue or Penn State on Sunday (4:30 p.m. ET, CBS) with the Big Ten Tournament title on the line.
Michigan shot only 31 percent in the first half and trailed, 29-26, after 20 minutes of play. But leading scorer Moe Wagner and the rest of the Wolverines shot much better in the second half, outscoring Michigan State, 49-35, over the final 20 minutes.
Wagner finished with 15 points, and senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman also added 15 while Michigan hit 9 of its 25 3-point attempts.
It was the second win in as many tries over the Spartans for the Wolverines. Michigan beat Michigan State, 82-72, in East Lansing on Jan. 13. The Spartans — the regular-season Big Ten champs and No. 2 team in the country — had 13-game winning streak since that loss entering Saturday’s game.
The Wolverines undoubtedly helped their NCAA Tournament seeding with the second win over Tom Izzo’s team. Michigan can become the first Big Ten program to win back-to-back conference tournaments since Ohio State did so in 2010 and 2011.