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Big Ten Tournament: Michigan, Michigan State Earn Crucial Wins

While Michigan and Michigan State entered the Big Ten Tournament on the right side of the NCAA Tournament according to most projections, neither was considered a lock for an at-large bid as play began in Indianapolis on Friday. Both earned crucial victories in the quarterfinals, though, Michigan a 60-55 win against Illinois and Michigan State a 74-56 beatdown of Purdue to keep their postseason hopes alive.

The Wolverines trailed the Fighting Illini for much of the second half. A Tim Hardaway Jr. 3-pointer with under two minutes to play, however, gave Michigan a lead it wouldn't relinquish. Hardaway finished with 16 points on the afternoon. Darius Morris had a team-high 17 points for Michigan to go with seven assists and Zack Novak had 14 points.

The Spartans were led by a performance for the ages from guard Kalin Lucas. The senior racked up 30 points against the Boilermakers and controlled the game from the opening tip. The Spartans also got double figure scoring from Keith Appling off the bench. he finished with 10 points.

Michigan will face Ohio State in the semifinals on Saturday. Michigan State will await the winner of Penn State and Wisconsin.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.