Michigan advances into Big Ten championship game

Posted at 3:07 PM, Mar 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-11 15:15:24-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Michigan Wolverines advanced into Sunday’s Big Ten Tournament title game with an 84-77 semifinal triumph over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center.

The Wolverines will play the winner of Saturday’s late game — Northwestern vs. Wisconsin — for the 2017 tourney championship on Sunday afternoon.

Michigan is the tournament’s No. 8 seed while Wisconsin is seeded 2nd, Minnesota was seeded 4th and Northwestern is seeded 6th.

The Wolverines are now 23-11 on the season while Minnesota stands 24-9.

Michigan led for much of Saturday’s contest, jumping out to a 15-5 advantage and continuing in front 47-36 at halftime. The Wolverines remained in control until midway through the final frame, when Minnesota knotted the score at 55-all. Michigan then regained the upper hand and was soon in command 74-65 at the 4-minute mark, 76-67 at the 2:47 juncture and 78-69 with 2:03 to go.

With 1:00 showing on the clock the Gophers had closed to within 78-73 and then 78-75 with 49 seconds remaining. The Wolverines then continued to hit free throws down the stretch to seal the final margin of victory.

The Big Ten’s championship game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at the Verizon Center. The NCAA Tournament “Selection Sunday” pairings are scheduled to be announced beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.