Michigan avenged an earlier loss at Purdue with an impressive 87-78 win over the Big Ten's second place team Thursday night in Ann Arbor. It was Michigan's final home game of the regular season and a win the Wolverines figured they had to have to keep their fleeting NCAA title hopes alive. Michigan has not played in the NCAA tournament since 1998. But the Wolverines have tough games remaining at Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Michigan led 37-34 at halftime and built on its lead from there, leading at one timie 78-63 before the Boilermakers closed with a late run.
Michigan State figures to now have a lock on a share of the Big Ten title. The Spartans play at Illinois Sunday, at Indiana Tuesday and at home March 8th against Purdue at noon. But the Boilermakers are now 10-5 in league play and the Spartans are 12-3.
Purdue must almost win out to keep a title hope alive-- home games with Ohio State and Northwestern remain besides the final trip to East Lansing.
Illinois beat Minnesota 52-41 in Champaign Thursday night to improve to 23-6 on the season. The Illini host the Spartans at 4pm Sunday.