Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored 21 points, and Moe Wagner had 20 as No. 15 Michigan dealt a significant blow to Nebraska’s NCAA hopes, beating the Cornhuskers 77-58 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday in New York City.
The fifth-seeded Wolverines (26-7) face top-seed Michigan State on Saturday in the first semifinal at Madison Square Garden.
Wagner drove the baseline for a dunk late in the first half that helped Michigan go up 34-24 at the break, thanks in part to a 1-for-20 shooting stretch by the Huskers (22-10).
Abdur-Rahkman’s 3 with 6:01 left in the second half made it 61-42 Wolverines. The many Michigan fans at the Garden spent the rest of the game singing the school’s familiar fight song – “Hail to the Victors” – chanting “N-I-T” at Nebraska and savoring a chance to knock off the rival Spartans.
Isaiah Roby led Nebraska with 16 points, seven rebounds, five blocked shots, and two assists.
No. 2 Michigan St. 63, Wisconsin 60: Cassius Winston hit a go-ahead jumper with 7:17 to play as the Spartans won their 13th straight game, this one in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
Miles Bridges led MSU (29-3) with 20 points, and Winston finished with 17 in advancing to the semifinals Saturday against in-state rival No. 15 Michigan.
The ninth-seeded Badgers (15-18), who had won five of their last seven games, had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds, but Brad Davison’s contested 3-pointer from deep beyond the top of the key never hit the rim.
Northern Illinois 66, Ball State 65: Levi Bradley scored 18 points with a career-high 17 rebounds and Eugene German’s jump shot with 16 seconds left sent Northern Illinois past Ball State at the Convocation Center.
Tayler Persons missed a 3-point attempt for Ball State to end the game. German finished with 25 points and Dante Thorpe scored 11 for Northern Illinois (13-18, 6-12 Mid-American Conference).
Northern Illinois won despite shooting 37 percent from the field to 45 percent for Ball State, but the Cardinals missed half their 24 free throws.
Tahjai Teague’s layup gave Ball State (19-12, 10-8) a 58-52 lead with 4:45 left. But Thorpe’s 3 with 2:06 reduced the Huskies’ deficit to 61-59 before Persons made and layup and Teague made a pair of free throws with 1:33 left and Cardinals never scored again.
Noah McCarty was held scoreless, but grabbed four rebounds and had three steals.