Michigan won their second straight Big Ten title beating Purdue 75-66 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Mo Wagner led Michigan with 17 points and was named the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
One of the key matchups in the game manifested on the first two scoring possessions. Isaac Hass scored on Mo Wagner in the post on Purdue’s first possession. The first bucket for Wagner was a three at the top of the key, showing the respective contrast in styles between the two big men. Haas scored Purdue’s first seven points. Wagner was subbed out after committing one early foul. Zavier Simpson created early issues for Purdue off the dribble and in the pick-and-roll game. Michigan jumped out to an early 16-9 lead on 60 percent shooting from the field with four assists on their first six field goals.
Michigan’s lead was 22-19 with 7:34 left in the first half as Michigan cooled off and Ethan Haas continued to assert his will inside. Jon Teske ended up being the response for Michigan in the first half with 12 points in 10 minutes. Teske was the recipient of plenty of dump-off passes from pick-and-roll and dribble penetration by Michigan’s guards. He would finish with 14 points in the game, only his third time in his career scoring in double figures. The Wolverines shot 53 percent from the field in the first half with 10 assists on 16 field goals and zero turnovers. They held a 38-33 lead at the break.
In the second half, Michigan pushed it to an eleven-point lead after causing a pair of turnovers and converting with two threes in transition. Their lead was 48-37 with 15:49 left. Mo Wagner extended the lead to 14 on a shot-clock beating three-pointer with 12:07 left. Charles Matthews’ three-pointer with 8:24 left gave Michigan their largest lead of the game at 15.
Purdue was able to cut the lead down to 10 and then into the single digits, but not with enough time to make a final push. All-Tournament selection Carsen Edwards struggled to find a rhythm, scoring 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Vincent Edwards was uncharacteristically quiet offensively with four points on 2-of-6 shooting in 30 minutes.
Besides Isaac Haas, Purdue didn’t have anyone get themselves going. They shot 45 percent from the field and finished +12 on the boards, but the Boilermakers shot 4-of-17 (24 percent) from three while the Wolverines finished +12 from behind the arc and only turned the ball over five times in the game. Michigan tallied 18 assists on their 26 made field goals.
At least four Michigan players scored in double figures in every game in the tournament.
Ohio State was the last team to repeat as conference champions in 2010 and 2011. Michigan is the first team to win the Big Ten title as a no. 5 seed.