Source: New York Times
Article Date: March 4, 2018
News Type: State
Isaac Haas of Purdue and Moritz Wagner of Michigan tangled over a loose ball. Wagner played just 17 minutes in Michigan’s win on Sunday but was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. Credit: Julie Jacobson/Associated Press
In the article Michigan Locks Down Purdue and Wins 2nd Straight Big Ten Tournament Title, fifth – seeded Michigan became the first team to repeat as tournament champions since their rival Ohio State did in 2010 and 2011.
Zavier Simpson led on both ends of the court, running Michigan’s skilled offense and anchoring the team’s lockdown defense. Backup Jon Teske or Big Bad Jon as his teammates call him, scored 14 points as No.15 Wolverines beat No.8 Boilermakers 75 – 66 as the final score on Sunday to win their second straight Big Ten tournament title.
Moritz Wagner bought Michigan 17 points despite he just played 17 minutes because of foul trouble – an issue that bothered him throughout the tournament. Wagner still arose with the tournament’s most outstanding player award. Simpson closed with 10 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. Fortunately for Michigan, Teske boosted the team. As a 7’1 sophomore, Teske scored 12 points in the 1st half and swung into action by guarding Purdue’s 7’2 Isaac Haas. Teske and Simpson put an exclamation point on Michigan’s 4 day party at Madison Square Garden with 6 minutes and 2 seconds remaining. Simpson drove and dished to Teske cutting to the basket. They finished over Haas and let out a roar while chest bumping teammates.
Michigan, dominating their 4th game in 4 days, showed no signs of wear shooting 50% and committing 5 turnovers. “I was so happy when he popped off after that dunk,” Wagner said. “I got so excited. He got emotional. Yeah, I know how good he is. That was long overdue.” The dunk spread the Wolverine’s lead up to 66 – 48 and brought chants of “ Tes – key!” from Michigan fans, who showed up in crowds for the first Big Ten tournament played in New York. “ That was a blast, especially being here in New York City with all those Michigan fans who traveled from great distances, or whoever lived here,” Teske said.
Haas led Purdue with 23 points, but Purdue’s two elite players, Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards, combined for only 16 points on 6 of 22 shooting. “He had a couple of drives that didn’t go down for him, and he had a couple of 3s where he could never get back – to – back pullups or back – to – back pull – up 3s to get into that rhythm,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. The Michigan team has been Coach John Beilein’s best defensively since he became coach in 2007. “ He’s a pit bull,” Beilein said of Simpson. “ We have a picture of a big, mean pit bull in our locker room for every game. And he’s that guy. He’s the one who loves to play defense.”
On constant possessions early in the 2nd half, the Wolverines forced turnovers by Purdue and turned them into transition 3 – pointers; one by Muhammad – Ali Abdur – Rahkman and the other by Simpson. That put the Wolverines up 11 with 15:06 left, and caused the Boilermakers’ coach to call a timeout and drew calls of “ Go Blue!” from Michigan fans.
Personal Response: I chose this article because I was 1 of those super lucky 20,000 people who got to go and see the game happen live at Madison Square Garden! I was cheering for Michigan so I was super happy that Michigan won.
Tweet: Michigan beats Purdue 75-66, to win their 2nd straight Big Ten tournament title at MSG. Go Blue! @nytimes #foxmeadowpride JR