Michigan State vs Michigan: Spartans defeat Wolverines to win Big Ten title


EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN – Michigan and Michigan State met just two weeks ago, but the stakes were different on Saturday. The Wolverines and Spartans were fighting for the title of the Big Ten, and MSU was once again in the lead, winning this time 75-63 at the Breslin Center.

This victory means that the Spartans will share the title of the Big Ten regular season with Purdue, but that Michigan State will be the number one seed of the tournament.

No. 7, Michigan jumped early on No. 9 Spartans and took a six-point lead in the half. But a lack of strikers outside Ignas Brazdeikis – who let slip more than five minutes of play – eventually sank the Wolverines.

"Give credit to Michigan, they came to tell us," said Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo. "We looked out of sync – I do not know if we were nervous, I do not know what we were, we had two good practice days, they played well and I thought we played badly. did not do it. " I think our energy was there, I think we made some mistakes – we talked about turnovers, they had a 12-5 advantage at halftime – I think what got us the match, it's is to be six at halftime since he could have been 16. "

The troubles for Brazdeikis and Isaiah Livers have had an effect on Michigan substitution rotations, according to Michigan coach John Beilein.

"We wanted to let the guys rest," said Beilein. "But it's a bit messy, like [Jordan Poole] did not get rest in the first half. And he needed that, he was doing a great job [Matt] McQuaid … But he needed rest … As soon as we took him out, [Brazdeikis] and Isaiah [Livers] has another fault. "

Indeed, Poole played the first 20 minutes in the first half and shot 4 times on the field (including 2 out of 5 in the 3-point range), but in the second half he only shot 2 6 in an additional 18 minutes.

Although things got worse for Michigan after a good start, they began to be restless for Michigan State, with free throws and missed turnovers that quickly affected the Spartans. However, once Cassius Winston caught fire in the second half, there was no turning back. Winston finished the game with 23 points and seven assists after a mediocre first period.

At the other end of the guard's battle, Michigan's Zavier Simpson tried to create many times, but he found himself crammed into the rim several times by Xavier Tillman, who had five blocks in over 17 points.

"Blocked shots have been a big part of this game," said Michigan head coach John Beilein at the end of the match. "We did some things differently this time to get to the edge, I think the eight – maybe seven of them – were layups that they came from behind and made very big This was a big part of that. "

When Michigan had a double-digit fall late in the second half of the game, it could not defeat the Michigan State, while the Spartans outperformed the Wolverines 46-20.

"It was not good," said Beilein about the rebound. "Some of those rebounds so [Jon] Teske and Tillman go for the ball, Tillman will get it. There were some who were very far away. But there really was – like [Matt] McQuaid arrives and gets a rebound. I think there was one – what we call a strong man bounce that they did not have, there were two guys on the block. We have to do better at that … and box better. We are one of the best in the country not to allow the second shots, not tonight. "

Seven of Michigan State's eleven offensive rebounds came in the second half.

"They were just better than us in the second half," said Beilein.

Izzo emphasized the importance of this win, especially with Joshua Langford and Nick Ward.

"We had guys who showed up, because the guys who stepped up were not as good as the two we lost, I'm not going to lie about it," Izzo said. "But they came together, like a team, as if you were supposed to gather … All Michigan State alumni should be proud of this team."

In the end, the physical strength of Michigan State prevailed. Michigan shot out, but in the second half he seemed exhausted. Brazdeikis was the final highlight of the Wolverines coffin, and Michigan State capitalized to win a share of the Big 10 at its Senior Night. At the end of the match, Tom Izzo had a timeout to allow Marcus Bingham Jr. and Conner George to take a place on the floor while eliminating Seniors Matt McQuaid and Kenny Goins, so both players could get ovation of Breslin Center.

Michigan started the game 5 out of 8 from outside the bow and they ended 8 out of 22. Brazdeikis and Poole made it six out of eight. The Wolverines fired only 31% of the pack in the second half and the Spartans capitalized on every Michigan error: they managed to score 25-4 in the second half after losing 12 points. in the lead for the first time, he would never give it up again.

"I think they were hotter than hot in the first period, I did not see them doing that kind of hitting – there's always a bliss between the two," Izzo said. "But we did an important thing in the second half: we tried to protect them a bit, we did not do a very good job in the first period, and yet I think they cooled a bit, We we had shots that did not fall, you know – We had shots that did not fall … But this place may have had something to do with that in the second half, these people have behind This place was like old times. "

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