Big Ten

Michigan keeps marching on Washington with upset of top-seeded Purdue in Big Ten Tournament

Michigan keeps marching on Washington with upset of top-seeded Purdue in Big Ten Tournament

WASHINGTON — Michigan pushed its next flight back at least another day.

The Wolverines, the Big Ten Tournament's sentimental favorites after the flight nightmare they endured Wednesday afternoon, made it two wins in two days Friday, upsetting the top-seeded Purdue Boilermakers in a mighty entertaining 74-70 overtime decision at the Verizon Center.

Despite shooting just 33.3 percent after halftime, Michigan scored eight of overtime's 12 points and pulled off a big upset on the tournament's third day. The Wolverines clobbered Illinois the day before, and Friday's win made it eight wins in the team's last 10 games.

Purdue, meanwhile, entered the tournament as the favorite, the outright regular-season conference champion boasting the Big Ten Player of the Year in Caleb Swanigan. But the Boilers turned the ball over 15 times, surrendered 18 second-chance points and went just 6-for-13 from the free-throw line.

Both teams had their moments in a mighty entertaining first half. Unsurprisingly, Purdue flexed its size with Swanigan and Isaac Haas having big first halves. The duo combined for 21 points on 10-for-14 shooting. Michigan had its own big man do work, D.J. Wilson dropping 18 points in the opening 20 minutes on 8-for-11 shooting with a couple 3-pointers.

The Boilers shot nearly 60 percent from the field in the first half and used a 12-3 run to build a lead as big as nine with under five minutes till halftime. The Wolverines charged from there, though, going on a 15-2 run to storm back in front. That stretch featured 10 straight from Wilson. But it was Purdue that had the last laugh of the thrilling half with P.J. Thompson draining a buzzer-beating half-court heave to make it a one-point game at the break.

Both teams shot extremely well in the first 20 minutes. Purdue shot 59.3 percent from the field and got 17 points from its bench, while Michigan shot 53.8 percent with five made 3s and 10 second-chance points.

After that red-hot first half, the second half started chillily, with both teams struggling shooting the ball while the score stayed close.

Haas broke a 59-all tie with a dunk near the four-minute mark, but Wilson answered with just his second make of the second half to tie it the score at 61. Dakota Mathias, who was scoreless through the game's first 18 minutes, knocked down a massive tie-breaking triple with two minutes to go. Wilson answered with a bucket to cut it to a one-point game, and Michigan got a stop at the other end. But Zak Irvin's jumper was off the mark, and Carsen Edwards went coast to coast to give Purdue a three-point lead. Wilson split a pair of free throws before Thompson missed the front end of a 1-and-1 at the free-throw line, allowing Irvin to tie the game at 66 with a layup at the other end.

Purdue got a huge break immediately following that Irvin bucket, as Swanigan inbounded the ball right into the hands of Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman right under the hoop. But clock issues forced a whistle, and the Boilers kept the ball. Edwards was blocked on a 3-point try, and the game spun into overtime.

Irvin made two layups in the extra period, with just one Swanigan free throw to counter for Purdue, giving Michigan a three-point lead in the final minute. Swanigan was hit with his fifth foul with 20 seconds to play, and Walton knocked down two free throws to give the Wolverines a five-point lead, enough to clinch a victory.

Wilson finished with a game-high 26 points, and Irvin, Walton and Abdur-Rahkman all joined him in double figures. Haas and Edwards led Purdue with 17 points apiece, and Swanigan had his 26th double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Michigan advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals with the win, where it'll face off against the winner of Friday's game between Minnesota and Michigan State. This was the second straight year the Wolverines knocked off the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament.

Purdue, meanwhile, made a much earlier exit than anticipated and heads home to await its NCAA tournament fate.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.

See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings


See how they stack up: Week 12 college football top 25 rankings

With Week 12 in the books, here’s my top 25:

1. Oklahoma (10-1)

Still the team with the best resume in the country, no one can compete with OU’s wins over TCU, Ohio State and Oklahoma State, the latter two coming away from Norman. Baker Mayfield might not be a choir boy, but he’s the best player in the nation.

2. Miami (10-0)

You might think that being down 28-14 to Virginia in the second half was cringe-worthy, but the Canes made up for things by storming back with 30 unanswered points. Now they finally have to go away from South Florida for the first time since almost losing to North Carolina last month.

3. Alabama (11-0)

Tide gonna roll. But this Cupcake Weekend in the SEC has got to stop. While teams in other conferences are slugging it out against rivals, Bama gets to take a day off against Mercer? It’s just not fair. Also, Bama’s schedule is so soft, there’s no way it deserves to be the No. 1 team in the country.

4. Georgia (10-1)

The Dawgs should wrap an 11-1 regular season this weekend against Georgia Tech. But the SEC title game presents a kind of no-win scenario: undefeated Alabama or Auburn, who throttled Georgia earlier this month.

5. Wisconsin (11-0)

You didn’t need Wisconsin to do what it did to Iowa and Michigan to prove it had one of the best defenses in the country — but that sure didn’t help. Stockpiling national love with those two wins, a win in the Big Ten title game figures to make the Badgers a Playoff lock.

6. Clemson (10-1)

Why’d Kelly Bryant have to go and get hurt for that Syracuse game? The Tigers would be No. 1 and the undisputed best team in the country. Still, though, a win over Miami in the ACC title game ought to get the champs back into the Playoff.

7. Auburn (9-2)

Great job pounding Louisiana-Monroe, Tigers. You shall not escape the wrath over Cupcake Weekend in the SEC. That dumb game aside, Auburn and Alabama will meet in a titanic Iron Bowl this weekend with a trip to the SEC title game on the line — and perhaps a Playoff spot, as well.

8. Ohio State (9-2)

Not that pummeling Illinois is any big deal, but the Buckeyes are still alive in this thing and look like a team capable of making some Playoff noise. First, Ohio State has to win The Game and then the Big Ten title game to knock out undefeated Wisconsin.

9. Notre Dame (9-2)

Out of the Playoff chase thanks to that loss at Miami, Notre Dame squeaked by Navy this past weekend. Hope a New Year’s Six bowl game is enough for the Irish. We know it’s not enough for those ND fans. So maybe join a conference? Just saying.

10. TCU (9-2)

The Frogs can still make their mark on the Playoff race, even if they can’t get in themselves. The Big 12 title game will almost surely be TCU’s attempt at revenge on Oklahoma. Unfortunately, if revenge does come, it will probably cannibalize the conference’s Playoff hopes, too.

11. Penn State (9-2)

Why Penn State gave up 44 points to Nebraska, I do not know. What I do know is that probably no one cared because Penn State is going to go down as the most inconsequential 10-2 team of all-time. Such a bummer considering the preseason expectations for both the team and Saquon Barkley.

12. USC (10-2)

Yeah, I guess there’s still a way for USC to make the Playoff, but it’s hard to imagine that madness unfolding, even in the oft-mad college football. The Trojans get the winner of the Apple Cup in the Pac-12 title game.

13. UCF (10-0)

Finally we get our much-anticipated UCF-USF showdown this weekend. Make it count, Knights. This is probably gonna be Scott Frost’s last regular-season game in Orlando.

14. Washington (9-2)

It’s hard to say who has the edge in the Apple Cup, but certainly the stakes are high, with the winner going off to play USC in the Pac-12 title game. Can either team make the Playoff? Well, probably not, no.

15. Washington State (9-2)

Is this it for Mike Leach on The Palouse? He could be a hot candidate this offseason and leave for perceived greener pastures. Winning the Apple Cup would go a long way toward making that happen.

16. Mississippi State (8-3)

A win in the Egg Bowl means a 9-3 regular season for the Bulldogs with their three losses coming against three top-10 teams.

17. Oklahoma State (8-3)

Poor Okie State has been so good all year and had two losses to the two best teams in its conference, and then it went and lost to K-State for some ridiculous reason. The Mullet deserved better in 2017.

18. Northwestern (8-3)

The Cats are the fourth-best team in the Big Ten, simple as that, with wins over Michigan State and Iowa and conference losses to Wisconsin and Penn State. As commendable an effort as you’ll find in a highly competitive league. Plus, Fitz’s team is on a six-game win streak that could end up extending to eight.

19. Stanford (8-3)

Already with a win over Washington, Stanford could close the regular season with two wins over top-10 teams in its final three games. Also Bryce Love is back in the groove after back-to-back 100-yard games.

20. Memphis (9-1)

The Tigers have lost just one game all season, to the best Group of Five team out there. Heck of a season by Memphis.

21. Michigan State (8-3)

A 17-7 win over Maryland couldn't have been the most exciting way for anyone to spend their weekend. Sparty's had a mighty fine season, though, considering how badly things went in 2016.

22. LSU (8-3)

The SEC has seemingly gotten increasingly better as the year has progressed, with LSU and Mississippi State making for a solid-enough middle tier. But remember when LSU lost to Troy? That wasn’t good.

23. South Florida (9-1)

If not for that loss to Houston, USF’s showdown with UCF this weekend would be for Group of Five supremacy. Even without that, though, this should be a highly entertaining affair.

24. Virginia Tech (8-3)

The Hokies have a chance to salvage their tumble at the close of the season with a win at Virginia. But given how well the Cavs played at Miami this past weekend, a VT win is no sure thing.

25. Iowa State (7-4)

I understand the math and all, but can't the Big 12 just suspend its rules and send Iowa State to the title game? We all want to see the OU-ISU rematch. Why are you preventing us from being happy, Big 12?