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All-Michigan matchup in final

INDIANAPOLIS — Adreian Payne and Michigan State have that March look again, and the Spartans think their best basketball is in front of them.

Next up is another showdown with Michigan.

Payne had 18 points and Branden Dawson scored 14 Saturday as No. 22 Michigan State defeated No. 12 Wisconsin 83-75 to reach today's Big Ten final.

The Spartans (25-8) have consecutive wins for the first time since an 11-game run ended in January. The No. 3 seed meets top-seeded Michigan today. Michigan swept Michigan State during the regular season.

"We're just scratching the surface," Payne said. "We didn't play at a high level before just because we haven't had time for everyone to play together for a long period of time. This tournament has been great because we've been able to play with each other more and we're starting to look better."

Dawson scored in double figures for the second straight game in his return from a broken right hand as the Spartans shot 56 percent against the defense-minded Badgers.

Michigan State went on a 16-1 run in the first half and took a 37-16 lead when Gary Harris scored with 5:39 left before halftime.

Frank Kaminsky had 28 points for the second-seeded Badgers (26-7), who were outrebounded 32-28.

No. 8 Michigan 72, No. 24 Ohio St. 69: Michigan ended 15 years of Big Ten tournament frustration. There's still some work to do before it can really celebrate.

After squandering a 12-point second-half lead against its most bitter rival, Michigan closed with a 7-1 run for its first league tournament win over the Buckeyes in seven tries.

"We weren't thinking about winning the Big Ten Conference championship, the tournament," said guard and league player of the year Nik Stauskas, who led the Wolverines with 18 points. "We were thinking about just beating Ohio State. This is a rivalry game."

Michigan (25-7) hadn't won a Big Ten semifinal since 1998, when it won the inaugural tourney title only to vacate it because of NCAA rules violations.

LaQuinton Ross had 19 points and Shannon Scott 18 for Ohio State (25-9), which nearly pulled off a second stunning comeback in two days. The Buckeyes erased an 18-point deficit to beat Nebraska in Friday's quarterfinals.

Indiana: Forward Collin Hartman tore the ACL in his right knee during a workout, coach Tom Crean said.

Final: No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 22 Mich. St.

3:30 p.m. today, Indianapolis

TV: Ch. 10

All-Michigan matchup in final 03/15/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 15, 2014 11:32pm]
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