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Big Ten Men's Basketball Tourney Final

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Indianapolis, IN: Bankers Life Fieldhouse welcomes Big Ten fans for the title game on March 16th. - TJ FOREMAN / TJF PHOTOGRAPHY
  • TJ Foreman / TJF Photography
  • Indianapolis, IN: Bankers Life Fieldhouse welcomes Big Ten fans for the title game on March 16th.


After a long Indy weekend of hoops tourney shuffling, the stage was set to crown the 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball Champion, with the #8 Michigan Wolverines squaring off against inner-state rival, the #22 Michigan State Spartans on March 16th.

Be it St. Patty's weekend or an influx of MSU's faithful Sparty Nation, but a sea of green and speckled gold swarmed downtown around the Bankers Life hive.

Indianapolis, IN: Michigan cheerleaders sound off during pre-game pep rallies in and around the Fieldhouse. - TJ FOREMAN / TJF PHOTOGRAPHY
  • TJ Foreman / TJF Photography
  • Indianapolis, IN: Michigan cheerleaders sound off during pre-game pep rallies in and around the Fieldhouse.


Fans were abuzz on the streets around the Fieldhouse, and greeted within by food, merchandise, festivities, and battling Michigan and Michigan State bands and cheerleaders.

Title Game: #1 Michigan vs #3 Michigan State

Indianapolis, IN: Bankers Life Fieldhouse fills up for the 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball title game. - TJ FOREMAN / TJF PHOTOGRAPHY
  • TJ Foreman / TJF Photography
  • Indianapolis, IN: Bankers Life Fieldhouse fills up for the 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball title game.


Michigan looked ready, opening the game up to a 9-4 lead. But from there it was all Michigan State.

The Spartans' Gary Harris tied it at 9-9 amidst a 12-0 run, and a mostly-green stadium came alive. Michigan State would never look back, as their spread floor, slashing cuts, and 20 first-half offensive rebounds gave MSU a 38-29 lead at the break.

Indianapolis, IN: MSU's Gary Harris (#14) finishes of two of his 15 points over Michigan's Spike Albrecht (#2). - TJ FOREMAN / TJF PHOTOGRAPHY
  • TJ Foreman / TJF Photography
  • Indianapolis, IN: MSU's Gary Harris (#14) finishes of two of his 15 points over Michigan's Spike Albrecht (#2).


Michigan's stand-out guard Nik Stauskas tried to keep it close, but after 13 first-half points, he only added four in the second. MSU's defense also held Glenn Robinson III to 6 points on 2-8 shooting.

The Wolverines felt the absence of big man Mitch McGary, leaving their front line undersized and exposed. The Spartans dominated inside with a 38-20 point advantage and ran the court with 16 fast break points.

Indianapolis, IN: Wolverine Glen Robinson III (#1) pops a mid-range jumper in the second half. - TJ FOREMAN / TJF PHOTOGRAPHY
  • TJ Foreman / TJF Photography
  • Indianapolis, IN: Wolverine Glen Robinson III (#1) pops a mid-range jumper in the second half.


Michigan State pulls away, defeating Michigan 69-55.

"I told the guys, I think our defense is going to make the difference tonight" added MSU head coach Tom Izzo post-game. "We were so much better defensively in this whole tournament".

Indianapolis, IN: Scoring leader Adreian Payne (#5) of Michigan State posts up Michigan's Jon Horford (#15). - TJ FOREMAN / TJF PHOTOGRAPHY
  • TJ Foreman / TJF Photography
  • Indianapolis, IN: Scoring leader Adreian Payne (#5) of Michigan State posts up Michigan's Jon Horford (#15).


The Spartans were led by center Adreian Payne with 18 points and 9 rebounds, 8 of which contributed to 24 total team defensive boards.

Perhaps more importantly was the consistency of Michigan State's Branden Dawson. A Hoosier native from Gary, his 7-8 shooting and 15 game points capped a solid run and sealed his "Most Important Player of the Big Ten Tournament" award.

Indianapolis, IN: Tourney MOP Branden Dawson (#22) defends Wolverine Glen Robinson III (#1). - TJ FOREMAN / TJF PHOTOGRAPHY
  • TJ Foreman / TJF Photography
  • Indianapolis, IN: Tourney MOP Branden Dawson (#22) defends Wolverine Glen Robinson III (#1).


Michigan State's trophy case is filling up quickly. Coach Izzo added, "This year our football team came to Indianapolis to win a Big Ten championship, followed by our basketball now winning a Big Ten championship. This has been a special year."

Indy has indeed been good to MSU and the green Sparty Nation.

Indianapolis, IN: Head coach Tom Izzo speaks as his Michigan State Spartans are crowned Big Ten Champs. - TJ FOREMAN / TJF PHOTOGRAPHY
  • TJ Foreman / TJF Photography
  • Indianapolis, IN: Head coach Tom Izzo speaks as his Michigan State Spartans are crowned Big Ten Champs.






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