NCAA News Wire

Michigan State 83, Wisconsin 75

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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INDIANAPOLIS — Forward Adreian Payne led a balanced attack with a team-high 18 points as Michigan State held off a Wisconsin comeback in the second half for a 83-75 Big Ten tournament semifinal victory on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Guards Branden Dawson scored 14 points, Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine 12 apiece, Travis Trice 11 and Keith Appling 10 as the third-seeded Spartans (25-8) reached the Big Ten final for the fourth time.

Michigan State meets top-seeded Michigan in Sunday’s championship game for an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. The Wolverines advanced with a 72-69 victory over Ohio State.

Center Frank Kaminsky paced second-seeded Wisconsin (26-7) with a game-high 28 points. Forward Sam Dekker and guard Ben Brust had 11 each and guard Traevon Jackson closed with 10 as the Badgers cut a 16-point deficit in the second half to six in the final 11 seconds.

Payne hit a 3-pointer from 23 feet on the opening play of the game as Michigan State scored seven straight points to start and then led by as many as 21 on the way to a 43-26 halftime lead.

Payne had 12 first-half points and Valentine collected 11 as the Spartans made 17-of-26 shots from the field (65.4 percent).

Wisconsin tried to dig out of the hole early in the second half, closing to 10 points at 49-39 after back-to-back dunks from Dekker and Kaminsky. Leading 51-41 a minute later, the Spartans padded the margin with an Appling jumper, a Dawson layup and an Appling three-point play to make it 58-42 with 13:52 to play.

Repeated surges kept the Badgers in contention and Jackson’s free throws with 3:45 to play made it a seven-point game at 73-66. Dekker’s jumper with 16.3 seconds left got Wisconsin within six at 81-75.

Wisconsin reached the semifinals with Friday’s 83-57 victory over seventh-seeded Minnesota and also gave coach Bo Ryan his 700th career victory. Michigan State advanced with a 67-51 win over 11th-seeded Northwestern.

NOTES: Wisconsin reached the Big Ten semifinals for the third straight season and ninth time overall. The Badgers, seeded No. 2 for the third time in program history, has secured a first-round bye in each of the last 14 conference tournaments. … The Badgers entered the tournament averaging 73.2 points per game, the best ever under coach Bo Ryan. … Wisconsin G Ben Brust had a career-high 29 points in Friday’s win over Minnesota. He is the 12th Badgers player to reach 1,000 career points during Ryan’s 13-year tenure and entered Saturday with 1,085 points. … Michigan State’s matchup with Wisconsin was the seventh all time in tournament history and the most for the Spartans against any opponent and the sixth time against the Badgers in the semifinals. The Spartans won the last meeting 65-52 in 2012. … Wisconsin won the only regular-season meeting with Michigan State — a 60-58 decision on Feb. 9 in Madison. … Michigan State F Adreian Payne blocked two shots against Northwestern on Friday to become the school’s career leader with 135.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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