College men's basketball: Michigan defends Big Ten title
Moritz Wagner scored 17 points and reserve Jon Teske added 14 on Sunday as No. 15 Michigan defended its Big Ten tournament championship with a 75-66 defeat of No. 8 Purdue at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The fifth-seeded Wolverines (28-7) earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament and could be a top-four seed when the brackets are unveiled next Sunday night. The third-seeded Boilermakers (28-6) also should earn a top-four seed as an at-large team.
Isaac Haas paced Purdue with 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Dakota Mathias and reserve Nojel Eastern added 11 each. But first team All-Big Ten guard Carsen Edwards never got off the mark, hitting just 4 of 16 shots from the field and scoring only 12 points.
After escaping Iowa in overtime on Thursday, Michigan rolled through two top-10 teams in the semifinals (No. 2 Michigan State) and finals. The Wolverines led for all but 2:17 of this one, pulling away in the second half as they held Purdue to 43.5 percent shooting from the field.
Haas converted a layup just 2:13 into the half to bring the Boilermakers within 40-37, but at that point, Michigan took control. It went on a 10-2 run, with Wagner finishing it with a layup for a 50-39 lead with 14:25 left.
Wagner, who spent most of the game in foul trouble and played just 17 minutes, drained consecutive 3-pointers to make it 56-42 with 12:07 left. The lead reached 18 points with 6:02 to play before Purdue closed within seven, aided in large part by poor foul shooting by the Wolverines. But the deficit was too much to overcome.
Michigan received a big lift in the first half from Teske. His dunk and two free throws started an 11-2 spurt that gave the Wolverines a 16-9 lead. Teske, who finished with 12 first-half points, added a pair of jumpers late in the half that helped Michigan take a 38-33 advantage to the locker room.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman finished with 15 points for the Wolverines and Zavier Simpson added 10.