Men's basketball crushes IL, wins Big Ten title on senior night

Michigan State vs. Illinois - 2/20/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Big Ten Basketball: Illinois at Michigan State

If Michigan State avoids upset by the Fighting Illini and wins at Wisconsin, the program will have its first outright Big Ten title since 2009.

But the last time the Nittany Lions ran into the Michigan Wolverines was January 4 at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. But the Buckeyes lost their last two games while the Boilermakers endured a three-game losing streak, including a stumble in East Lansing. MI has won three-straight and recently beat Ohio State by 12 on Sunday. Michigan State opened the second half with a 12-1 run.

Location: Bryce Jordan Center, State College, Pa.

After the game, the Wolverines quickly became Penn State fans.

With its win on January 7, Ohio State still holds a tie-breaker over the Spartans for the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Big Ten tournament in NY if they share the league title. The Spartans will also take on Central Michigan in nonconference action on September 29.

While Michigan basketball should be safe when it comes to the NCAA Tournament, it has a chance to add another impressive win vs Penn State. Carr's floater and ensuing free throw gave Penn State a 39-38 lead, its first since it was 7-5.

The Michigan Sports Marketing Network, headed by flagship stations WWJ (950 AM) in Detroit and WWWW (102.9 FM) in Ann Arbor, will have the call. The game can also be heard on Sirius 84, XM 84 and Internet 84.

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There was only a slight change in the top five with Virginia leading the way again at No. 1, Michigan State at No. 2, Villanova at No. 3, Xavier at No. 4 and Duke at No. 5.

The Spartans kept the pressure on, taking a 61-43 lead with 8:10 remaining on a 3-pointer by junior Kenny Goins. The No. 17 Wolverines helped their cause for an NCAA Tournament bid on Sunday with a 74-62 win against then-No.

The two wins over Ohio State are their most impressive. Ward had eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks in just 15 minutes. The Illini didn't have an answer for the potential top-five pick, who showcased a variety of skills on national TV. The Wolverines are also 4-5 on the road. Michigan State tried to put the game away early with a 19-11 lead, but IL continued to fight back. This team continues to impress both on and off the court. The Nittany Lions are 14-3 at home, and notched their biggest home win on February 15, a 79-56 rout of Ohio State. Having given it away 25 times in its last meeting, MSU coughed up the rock just eight times, including just once in the second half.

The Wolverines have boosted their profile with recent wins against Ohio State and Wisconsin.

Regular starting center Mike Watkins went down less than four minutes into the game with an apparent leg injury.

While the Badgers' (2-13 Big Ten, 9-19 overall) position in the Big Ten rankings is seemingly all but set heading into the conference tournament next week, Wednesday night's regular season finale serves as a great opportunity for the Badgers as a final tune-up before the team makes its postseason run.

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