Derrick Walton pushes MI into Big Ten title game

Posted March 13, 2017

Robinson and Walton hit a couple 3s to answer the tie with a 9-2 run for the Wolverines, and after the Gophers whittled that lead down to three a couple times, Walton splashed in back-to-back triples to make it a nine-point MI lead with five minutes to go. The Spartans finished sixth with 13 points and a record of 3-14-3-1.

That didn't matter, and MI cruised to a 75-55 victory over the Illini behind 19 points from Derrick Walton Jr. and 18 each from Zak Irvin Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman.

MI is hanging on to a 51-45 lead at the under-8 media timeout of the second half.

Some players, including Michigan's leader, Derrick Walton, who had his leg stitched up after suffering a wound in the crash, were unsure about getting on another plane. Against an excellent Wisconsin defense - and a team that likes to slow down the tempo - MI shot 56.3 percent from the field and made 10 3-pointers.

At that point, MI led, 65-62, with 1:18 left, and the celebration began. He's an undersized senior point guard who does it all for the Wolverines.

A back-rim three-pointer from Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman made it a 49-38 U-M lead, but Wisconsin again forced its way back into the game, using a triple from Vitto Brown and a steal and converted layup from Zak Showalter to make it 51-45 and prompt a U-M timeout with 6:06 remaining. There were just nine total fouls in the first half and each team shot 54 percent or better from the field. Duncan Robinson chipped in 10 points in the winning effort for MI.

UW ended the first half on a 12-3 run to pull within 33-32 heading into the locker room at halftime. Irvin added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Not long after that, the thousands of MI fans in the large crowd began the countdown to the final buzzer.

Top dunk: With Wisconsin pressing to get back in the game late, Wolverine big man D.J. Wilson got loose down court. "You focus a little bit more", Purdue coach Matt Painter said about what Michigan's been through. Nigel Hayes led the team with 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting with a pair of threes and 10 rebounds for the double-double.

Hayes has missed a few practices of late with a groin injury. Now, they can't seem to make anything.

Teams are holding watch parties at universities as they learn the six- or seven-game path they must navigate to win a title. In the first half, he had 12 points. MI is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.

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Kentucky scored 18 points off 13 Georgia turnovers, getting several critical baskets off mistakes at the beginning of both halves. His shooting percentage of 23.5 percent was his third worst of the season, and it came at the worst possible time.

Koenig has 10 points for the Badgers. Minnesota also went 0 of 4 from three-point range in the first 20 minutes. Sophomore Dupree McBrayer drained one with 14:38 left to cut Michigan's lead to 53-49.

MI has a 24-20 lead at the second media timeout of the half.

The Wildcats made 1 of 6 three-point attempts (1 of 6) and 7 of 27 shots overall (25.9%).

Leading 33-32 at the break, MI scored the first six points of the second half and built a 44-34 margin with 13:16 remaining on a nifty three-point play from Zak Irvin, who put on a special all-around performance throughout the game.

MI has a 19-13 lead early in the first half, on red hot shooting.

The Michigan Wolverines won the Big 10 Tournament on Sunday with a victory over Wisconsin.

However, turnovers are an issue early. He's banging home threes, leading MI out in transition and really helping the team buckle down on defense.

Oklahoma State won 10 of its final 13 regular-season games before heading into the Big 12 Tournament, which the Cowboys lost their opening game to the eventual tournament champion, Iowa State.

Follow the action throughout the game with live updates by Al Willman of The Detroit News.

Tip-off is at 3 p.m.