Gary Harris got past Glenn Robinson III, put a crossover dribble on Max Bielfeldt, threw down a ferocious dunk over Spike Albrecht and couldn’t be stopped until Tom Izzo met him near halfcourt with an emphatic hand slap. “That’s what I’m (expletive) talking about!” Izzo screamed at Harris, his face contorted, intensity pouring out of him and giving an indication of what the day meant to him. Michigan State badly wanted to beat Michigan in the Big Ten tournament championship game, to avenge two regular-season losses and finish a weekend of revival – and that’s what the Spartans did, in no-doubt-about-it, dominating fashion, 69-55. It’s the fourth Big Ten tournament title for MSU (26-8) and it completed a long look at just how dangerous the Spartans could be in the upcoming NCAA tournament, now that they’re healthy and clicking – though Harris later took a hit to the left shoulder that bothered him all of last season and appeared to be in pain for much of the second half. He still managed to score 15 points near his hometown of Fishers, Ind., and play top-notch defense on U-M guard Nik Stauskas (4-for-14, 17 points). Adreian Payne scored 18 points for MSU and Branden Dawson continued his huge weekend for the Spartans. Dawson, who missed both of MSU’s regular-season losses to U-M with a broken hand, had 15 points, six rebounds, high-flying dunks and terrific defense. He was the Spartans’ best all-around player in the tournament. U-M (25-8) shot just 31.5% as a team after scorching the Spartans in the first two meetings. Michigan started hot and MSU started cold, but the Spartans took charge of the game with a 12-0 run. Harris had seven of those points, a jumper, three-pointer and dunk, and the Spartans led 16-9.
Michigan State 69, Michigan 55: Spartans cruise to Big Ten tournament title
Detroit Free Press | Mar 17