Chicago Sun-Times

Michigan closer to another crown


Zavier Simpson sparked Michigan’s balanced attack with 10 points on perfect shooting and 11 assists, and the third-seeded Wolverines picked apart Iowa for a 74-53 victory in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday night at the United Center.

Michigan made 10 three-pointers and had five players in double figures, bouncing back nicely from a disappoint­ing loss to rival Michigan State last Saturday. Ignas Brazdeikis scored 15 points, and Jon Teske had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Seeking their third consecutiv­e Big Ten Tournament title, the Wolverines (27-5) advanced to the semifinals for the fourth straight year. They will go for their third win against Minnesota this season when they face the surprising Gophers on Saturday.

Luke Garza and Tyler Cook each scored 14 points, but sixth-seeded Iowa (22-11) was ice cold from deep a night after making 12 three-pointers in an 83-62 victory over Illinois. The Hawkeyes went 1-for-16 from beyond the arc and shot 36 percent (21-for-59) overall.

Charles Matthews, a Chicago native who played at St. Rita High School, had five points for Michigan on 1-for-9 shooting in his first game back after injuring his right ankle against Michigan State on Feb. 24. He got a huge ovation when he was introduced.

Minnesota 75, Purdue 73

Jordan Murphy scored 27 points and Amir Coffey added 21 as the seventh-seeded Gophers (21-12) topped the second-seeded Boilermake­rs for the second time in 10 days. Murphy drove for a go-ahead three-point play and hit two free throws in the closing minutes. Carsen Edwards missed a three-pointer for Purdue (23-9) as time expired.

Michigan St. 77, Ohio St. 70

Cassius Winston scored 18 points and Foster Loyer provided a lift off the bench with a career-high 14 points as the top-seeded Spartans gave Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo his 600th career win and advanced to the other Big Ten semifinal against Wisconsin. Seeking a sixth conference tournament title, Michigan State (26-6) pulled away in the second half for its third victory over Ohio State (19-14) this season.

Wisconsin 66, Nebraska 62

Nate Reuvers and Khalil Iverson each scored 14 points and D’Mitrik Trice hit a three with 58 seconds left in a narrow win for the fourthseed­ed Badgers. Wisconsin (23-9) won for the sixth time in seven games despite a shaky performanc­e by forward Ethan Happ, who had a season-low four points and committed seven of the team’s 17 turnovers. Glynn Watson Jr. scored 23 points for Nebraska (18-16), the 13th seed.

Bowling Green 71, NIU 67

Dylan Frye scored 25 points and Justin Turner made a big late steal as the third-seeded Falcons (22-11) hung on beat the seventh-seeded Huskies (17-17) in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland. Bowling Green blew a 23-point halftime lead but pulled it together in the final minutes and earned a shot at topseeded Buffalo in Saturday’s title game. Tayler Bradley, who hit a three-pointer near the end to make it 68-65, scored 16 points for the Huskies (17-17), who have not been to the MAC final since 1982.

Rhode Island 75, VCU 70

Jeff Dowtin scored 22 points to help eighth-seeded Rhode Island (18-14) upset top seed VCU in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfin­als. Rhode Island has now eliminated VCU from the A-10 Tournament three years in a row.

Duke 74, North Carolina 73

Zion Williamson had the goahead tip-in on his own miss with 30.3 seconds left, and fifth-ranked Duke held off third-ranked North Carolina (27-6) in the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals in Charlotte, North Carolina. Williamson had 31 points and 11 rebounds, and the Blue Devils (28-5) survived a fight with their fierce rival that went down to the final play — a miss by Coby White on a contested long jumper.

Seton Hall 81, Marquette 79

Myles Powell sparked Seton Hall with 18 points in the second half, and Big East player of the year Markus Howard of Marquette (24-9) came up short on a potential winning three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Pirates a chippy and foul-filled victory in a Big East Tournament semifinal in New York City. Third-seeded Seton Hall (20-12) will face top seed and defending champion Villanova in the final Saturday night after Villanova survived Xavier 71-67 in overtime in the other semifinal.

Wheaton eliminated in D-III

Despite 44 points from Aston Francis, Wheaton (23-8) fell 104-85 to Wisconsin-Oshkosh (27-3) in the semifinals of the Division III tournament in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Thunder also got 10 points apiece from Luke Anthony and Kobe Eichelberg­er. Ben Boots, Jack Flynn and Brett Wittchow each scored 21 for the Titans.

 ?? JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES ?? Jordan Poole goes up for a dunk in Michigan’s 74-53 victory against Iowa on Friday at the United Center.
JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES Jordan Poole goes up for a dunk in Michigan’s 74-53 victory against Iowa on Friday at the United Center.

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