Michigan State wins 2014 Big Ten basketball tournament: Sparty, YES!

Andy Lyons

Michigan State avoids the three-game sweep by rival Michigan and captures the Big Ten Tournament crown with a 69-55 victory.

If it's March, Tom Izzo must be winning, and lo and behold here we are.

Michigan State capped an impressive run through the Big Ten Tournament by throttling regular season champ Michigan, 69-55, and now the Spartans are angling for another magical NCAA Tournament run under Izzo.

The Spartans controlled the game from the early moments, using a 12-0 run in the first half to take a 16-9 lead that would never be relinquished. Adreian Payne led the way for MSU with 18 points and nine rebounds, taking advantage of Michigan's undersized front line and reminding Wolverine faithful that yes, Mitch McGary's absence still haunts that team.

More importantly for the Spartans, Branden Dawson kept himself back on track from the field with a 7-for-8 shooting performance en route to 15 points of his own, capping an impressive run in the BTT. If he's back back, Michigan State's a legit Final Four contender.

Michigan, meanwhile, still looks to be in contention for a No. 1 seed in the tourney and remains as dangerous as ever, despite the resounding loss.

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