Spartans win Big Ten, get No. 2 seed in NCAA tourney

Posted at 5:33 PM, Mar 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-14 05:45:16-04

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Denzel Valentine finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead No. 2 Michigan State past No. 13 Purdue 66-62 in Sunday’s Big Ten Tournament championship game.

But despite the tournament title, the Spartans didn’t get the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Michigan State earned a No. 2 seed in the Midwest region and will first play No. 15 Middle Tennessee State on Friday in St. Louis.

The No. 1 seeds are: North Carolina in the East, Kansas in the South, Virginia in the Midwest and Oregon in the West.

Valentine was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after flirting with triple-doubles on three consecutive days. Michigan State (29-5) has won 13 of 14 and has its fifth tourney title, giving them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 12: Denzel Valentine #45 and Matt Costello #10 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrate after defeating the Maryland Terrapins in the semifinals of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 12, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Michigan State won 64-61. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Purdue (26-8) was led by Vince Edwards with 19 points while A.J. Hammons and Caleb Swanigan had 11 each.

Michigan State took control with two 9-0 runs late in the first half and extended the margin to as much as 46-33 early in the second.

The Boilermakers charged back and got as close as 62-61 with 2:50 left when Rapheal Davis made two free throws.

But Valentine made a 16-footer with 1:45 left and the Spartans didn’t give up another basket.