Michigan State Basketball earns No. 9 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament

Michigan State Basketball earns No. 9 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament

MI head coach John Beilein texted ESPN's Andy Katz: "All OK!"

There was Moritz Wagner on the bench, waving his arms up and down, cheering his teammates, as MI took a lead.

MI forward D.J. Wilson reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament, Friday, March 10, 2017, in Washington.

Derrick Walton Jr. has 14 points for MI, while Zak Irvin has nine and D.J. Walton and Mo Wagner have seven each. Wednesday's frightening situation involving the team plane sliding off a runway in Ann Arbor has been the story of the week, but surely MI was playing well enough already to make this run a possibility. "East coast, west coast, MI is (here) and we love it. Thank you very much", said Beilein, who coached at nearby Richmond from 1997 to 2002. They deserved to win the game, and we didn't.

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Wisconsin will vie for its fourth Big Ten title Sunday against No. 8 seed MI, which will be playing its fourth game in four days. "Had a lot of trials and tribulations". All I can say is God is good. "We're here for a reason".

"We ended up winning, so I'm like, 'Alright, I'm not touching that other hat until the end of March'".

"It's huge for us, definitely", Hayes said, "to see what we can do, what we're capable of when we're playing well". All of the adversity that we've been to throughout the whole tournament. The Wolverines withstood the Gophers rally, but still needed to figure out what they wanted to do offensively with Wagner out. Bronson Koenig is leading the team with 14.2 points per game while Ethan Happ is adding 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. All three were all-tourney players.

"I think [coach John Beilein] has really embraced it, and I think we all have as well". Wisconsin enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed, earning a first-round bye along with Minnesota.

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But it didn't go in enough for struggling Wisconsin, which has lost four of its last seven. Veterans Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin, and D.J. Wilson had strong scoring afternoons, and Wisconsin's offense didn't have the juice to keep pace with them.

Wisconsin trimmed the lead to 51-45. The senior led the way with 22 points, six rebounds and seven assists. That led to a breakaway dunk by Abdur-Rahkman and a 61-52 lead with 2:48 left.

Minnesota (24-8) made a late push, getting within three with under a minute to go, but Walton and Zak Irvin were dead-eye free-throw shooters, sealing the win.

On the day, the Cats shot just 34.6 percent from the field and committed 12 turnovers.

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"Initially, our defense was pretty good", Chris Collins, clearly both frustrated and exhausted, said. He finished the Big Ten tournament averaging 20.5 points, 6.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds. It's the second time in three games the Badgers have held an opponent under 50 points. The teams combined for 14 ties and 17 lead changes in regulation alone, and they headed to overtime tied at 66 after Zak Irvin pulled MI even on a layup with 4.2 seconds left, before Wilson blocked a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

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