Published March 15, 2015
Indianapolis, IN – Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nigel Hayes scored 25 points and No. 6 Wisconsin shut out Michigan State in overtime Sunday to win the Big Ten championship for the first time in seven years.
The 80-69 win got Wisconsin a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The top-seeded Badgers (31-3) pulled themselves out of an 11-point hole in the second half, scoring 34 of the final 46 points to capture their third Big Ten Tournament title.
They tied the score with 15 seconds left in regulation on two Bronson Koenig free throws, which came after Josh Gasser dove into the corner to save a ball from going out of bounds.
Hayes knocked down a 3 for the first points in overtime and scored seven of Wisconsin's 11 points in the extra period, with Koenig getting the other four to finish the game with 18.
Michigan State went scoreless over the last 5:44 of the game after Travis Trice gave them a 69-67 lead late in regulation.
The third-seeded Spartans, chasing their fifth Big Ten title, missed all six of their shots in overtime. They will be a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, playing Georgia in the East Region on Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Frank Kaminsky scored 19 points for the Badgers, who set a school record for wins in a season and will play Coastal Carolina in their first game in the West Region on Friday in Omaha, Nebraska.
They will enter the tournament on a six-game winning streak.
"To go out the way we did and fight back and really take the Big Ten title was awesome," Kaminsky said. "Our fans were great. Just (an) awesome environment to play in, and it was just a blast."
The Spartans, who won the Big Ten title for a fourth time last year, were looking to break a tie with Ohio State for the most in conference history. Sunday marked the first time Michigan State lost a Big Ten final.
The Spartans were in a good position, leading 57-46 with under eight minutes left in regulation, the largest advantage of the game before overtime.
"I thought we played one of the greatest games we've played for 32, 32 1/2, or 35, 36 minutes," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. "And then we made a couple mistakes, and they made a couple of great shots, and that's the way the game goes."
Wisconsin scored 21 of the next 28 points after the Spartans took their 57-46 lead, capped by Kaminsky's 3 from the top of the key to give the Badgers a 67-64 advantage with under two minutes to go.
Denzel Valentine responded with a 3 from the high right side at the other end to tie the score for Michigan State and Trice's running hook shot over two Badgers made it 69-67 with 44 seconds to play in regulation.
Gasser helped the Badgers tie the game by careening out of bounds and into a media table near the corner to save a ball going out of bounds -- a replay appeared to show his foot on the line.
The ball went to Valentine, but his outlet pass was stolen by Sam Dekker, leading to Koenig's game-tying free throws with 15.2 ticks left on the clock.
Wisconsin had fouls to give and used two of them to stunt Michigan State at the other end. The Spartans got a little good luck at the buzzer after Matt Costello received the inbounds pass and threw to Branden Dawson on the low right side, but Dawson's shot over Kaminsky rattled out.
Dawson and Valentine led the Spartans with 16 points each and Bryn Forbes scored 10.
Michigan State beat Wisconsin in the semifinals last year on the way to winning its second Big Ten championship in three years ... Wisconsin also won the title in 2004 and 2008 ... The Badgers committed just seven turnovers and one of them was for dribbling out the shot clock on their last possession of overtime ... Koenig had nine assists ... Valentine had eight rebounds.