Michigan State overcame a furious comeback by Purdue to get the 66-62 win and claim the Big Ten Tournament championship. The Spartans have most likely locked up a No. 1 seed for the NCAA Tournament, while the Boilermakers have done enough to earn a high seed in their own right.
With just over three minutes left, Purdue was down 62-60, but used its final timeout during a ball tie-up on the floor. They missed a chance to tie things up when Rapheal Davis made just one of two free throws, and Denzel Valentine drained a long jumper to make it a three-point lead at the 1:48 mark.
Purdue got the ball back with under a minute to go and had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Caleb Swanigan's three-point shot was off the mark. Valentine pulled down the rebound and the Boilermakers were reduced to fouling down the stretch. Purdue could not do anything with its final possessions and Michigan State walked away victorious.
The Boilermakers kept things tight for most of the first half and even led for some brief stretches. However, the Spartans completely took over, going on an 18-7 run at the end of the half to take a 36-26 lead into halftime.
Michigan State continued to lead by double-digits throughout the second half. Purdue started mounting a comeback when its defense forced a Spartans scoring drought that went over three minutes, chipping away the deficit to just five points. The Boilermakers eventually cut Michigan State's lead to just one point with less than eight minutes to go.
With the Spartans' lead slipping away, Bryn Forbes finally made his first three-point of the game, giving his team a slight four-point cushion. Michigan State kept the Boilermakers out of arm's length, never allowing Purdue to snatch the lead back.
Valentine was his usual brilliant self, leading the Spartans with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Vince Edwards was the Boilermakers' top scorer with 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Michigan State as a whole shot 41.7 percent from the field and made 8 of 21 three-pointers.
This is the Spartans' fifth conference tournament title in program history, and the third in the past five years. Tom Izzo's squad remains the model of consistency -- the Spartans haven't missed the NCAA Tournament since the late '90s.
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