Wisconsin blocking Michigan's path to Big Ten title

Wisconsin blocking Michigan's path to Big Ten title

The Badgers will face the Big Ten's hottest team right now in the championship game, the No. 8 Michigan Wolverines.

MI will raise another one after the Wolverines completed the improbable Sunday, winning the Big Ten tournament as the No. 8 seed, knocking off No. 2 seed Wisconsin, 71-56 at the Verizon Center. MI missed the tournament in 2015, squeaked in previous year, and seemed all but certain to miss it again this March.

Before helping cut down the net, MI coach John Beilein gathered his players to deliver an emotional message. "These guys have been warhorses through it all. Now to get them a championship like this, they deserve it".

Tony Bennett's bunch may need as much offense as it can get, facing a Wilmington team who won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, and who's 85.2 points per game ranks 10th in the country. The bracket will be revealed shortly on CBS. The Wolverines haven't been lucking out in these wins, they are playing at a really high level and starting to get some big contributions from their starting five.

"We don't take any of this", Wilson said, "really, for granted".

MI made it four wins in four days in Washington D.C. with a statement victory over Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon.

The team that makes a few more today will be the Big Ten champion. The team's charter plane, carrying 109 passengers, slid off the runway after an aborted landing. We played Sunday night.

On Sunday, in resounding fashion they reached down to finish their fourth win in four days.

That feels like forever ago. They'll play Friday, which - after the craziness of this week - was welcomed by Beilein.

Wisconsin, though, was just as experienced and just as ready.

The Marquette women's basketball team closed out the first half of their Big East quarterfinal on a 13-4 run and never looked back beating Georgetown 80-66 at the Al McGuire Center. Runs were answered by runs.

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Instead of perseverating about the miscue, Brown came back and hit a three-pointer and then blocked a shot by Barrett Benson. The Badgers only shot 39 percent from the field. It's the second time in three games the Badgers have held an opponent under 50 points.

That came with 14 minutes 5 seconds left and UW leading, 48-33.

Koenig took note of Lindsey saying the Wildcats had the Badgers' number.

It was over when: After Michigan had built an 11-point lead with 8:26 to go after a Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman 3-pointer, Wisconsin stormed back to trim the deficit to six with 6:06 to go. "All of the adversity that we've been to throughout the whole tournament, we stuck together as a family and got the job done". "We start looking forward to the next game we play".

The Wolverines earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney and along with Wisconsin headed to rooms at the Verizon Center to watch Selection Sunday.

Q: Were you guys pretty HAPPy to see Ethan knock down some of those free throws tonight?

There was Walton, pumping up his teammates one second and telling them to calm down the next.

His play was key against Purdue, in part by heeding point guard Derrick Walton's pleas. To take this point to the extreme, you could put LeBron James on any team in the National Basketball Association, and it would finish no lower than third in the Eastern Conference. Wisconsin won 68-64 at home on January 17 against MI and lost on the road 64-58 on February 16.

"We know they're playing hard, playing inspired, playing well right now", Wisconsin standout Nigel Hayes said of MI. This will be the second all-time meeting with the Badgers.

Wisconsin was without reserve wing Khalil Iverson (3.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 10.3 mpg), who left the team on Saturday due to a death in his family.

One of the best bigs in the game, the 6-foot-10, 232-pound sophomore was beyond steady during the Big Ten Tournament. The 10th-year coach in the midst of a six-year contract worth $20.2 million dollars.