Michigan gets important win over Indiana
The Michigan Wolverines are right on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament, but they got a huge win on Friday afternoon over the No. 10 Indiana Hoosiers, winning 72-69 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tourney.
Michigan improved its record to 23-11 (11-8) with the victory, one that might have put it into the field of 68 when the committee announces its selections on Sunday night. The Wolverines were led by guard Zak Irvin, who scored 17 points and added five rebounds. He was aided by Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who scored 15 points in 34 minutes.
For Indiana, the loss will perhaps knock it down from the third line to the fourth come March Madness, but the Big Ten regular-season champs can’t be too crestfallen. While head coach Tom Crean and senior Yogi Ferrell would have loved to win the conference tournament, this only serves to give the Hoosiers more time to rest.
Meanwhile, Michigan now goes onto face the No. 13 Purdue Boilermakers. While the Wolverines likely erased any doubt as to whether they are a tournament team with the win on Friday, they can start moving up the seed lines should they take down Purdue.
Michigan has been streaky all season, and this would be the right time to get hot.
Big 12 owned by Kansas
The Kansas Jayhawks beat the Kansas State Wildcats on Thursday to set up a contest against the Baylor Bears, While the No. 22 Bears put up a good fight, it was the Jayhawks advancing with a 70-66 win. With the victory, Kansas finds itself in the conference title game against the winner of the Oklahoma Sooners and West Virginia Mountaineers.
Kansas was stymied through the first 20 minutes of play, only able to score 21 points. However, the defense was able to keep the Jayhawks right in the thick of things, holding Baylor to 23 points. Head coach Bill Self was able to figure Baylor out, with Kansas exploding for 49 points in the second half. The charge was led by Perry Ellis, the lanky senior forward who tallied a team-best 20 points with four rebounds. Wayne Seldon Jr. and Frank Mason III also combined for 20 points, doing just enough for another win.
Should the Jayhawks win the conference tournament, it is likely they go into March Madness as the No. 1 overall seed, getting to stay close to home in the first two rounds. Kansas has a dynamic blend of both inside and outside, youth and experience, making it perhaps the favorite.