No other program has won the tournament as many times as Michigan State, and this one was particularly sweet. Xavier Tillman also added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Spartans.
Unfortunately, for Michigan's sake, Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston is still playing for the Spartans, just like he was on February 24 and March 9.
(22) Auburn 84, (8) Tennessee 64: In Nashville, Tennessee, Bryce Brown scored 19 points and the Tigers upset the Volunteers to win their first Southeastern Conference Tournament championship since 1985.
Michigan Coach John Beilein emptied the bench with six minutes to play. "We can get right back to playing".
Michigan State forward Nick Ward didn't play in either game and Matthews missed the most recent one and was battling injury in the first matchup. He averaged just under 5 points a game and shot under 30 percent from behind the arc.
"The rebounding in general was big for us, out-rebounding them like that", Izzo said.
Thomas on Boston return: 'This feels like home'
And if given the opportunity I can be an All-Star, I can be All-NBA, I can be all that, because I physically feel great. I didn't know if they were interested, and I wasn't saying I wanted to come back and be the guy.
The third and likely final meeting between MI and MSU this season tips off today at 3:30 pm EST / 12:30 pm PST on CBS. The Tigers have won eight straight and 10 of their last 11. "We've got to get our revenge".
The NCAA Tournament is the tournament which really matters, but the Michigan Wolverines are focused on the team in front of them this Sunday afternoon in Chicago. He returned to the sideline on crutches in the second half.
The Badgers came out of the half energized, closing the gap to 49-43 at the 9:30 mark. D'Mitrik Trice made an inside jumper to end the spell with 2:21 left, far less then enough time to make up for MSU's 56-45 lead. Trice went 1-for-6 from 3, and Brad Davison was held without a triple on five attempts.
"I thought we did a good job fighting back in the first half", Head Coach Greg Gard said of his team's persistence after a horrid start. "Let's get aggressive on defense".
There's a cliche that says it's hard to beat a team three times in a season but reality says otherwise.