(AP) — If there was any doubt about Michigan making the NCAA Tournament going into the week, it’s completely gone now.
Michigan upset No. 24 Wisconsin 71-56 to win the Big Ten Tournament. After beating Illinois, No. 13 Purdue and Minnesota, the Wolverines already knew they were in but this victory helps their seeding even more.
The incredible run through the Big Ten Tournament came after Michigan’s plane aborted takeoff and slid off the runway Wednesday night. No one was injured, but the team had to fly to D.C. Thursday morning and played its first game a couple of hours after landing.
Throughout the tournament, Michigan showed off its depth of offensive options from senior point guard Derrick Walton Jr. and swingman Zak Irvin to forwards D.J. Wilson and Moe Wagner.
Walton led eighth-seeded Michigan with 22 points Sunday and drew chants of “M-V-P” from the blue and gold-clad crowd as he stepped to the free throw line in the final moments.
As the buzzer sounded and teammates celebrated, Walton went down on one knee at midcourt and put his head on his hands.
Wisconsin, the second seed in the Big Ten Tournament, helped itself by reaching the final. Less so for top-seeded Purdue, which lost its opening game.