Published March 11, 2012
Draymond Green, who had 12 points and nine rebounds in the final, was named the most outstanding player of the tournament. The Spartans (27-7) claimed their first tournament title since 2000 in a dramatic game that featured 16 lead changes.
The teams shared the regular-season title with Michigan.
Wood transferred to Michigan State after graduating from Valparaiso last year with eligibility remaining. He received a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately because he entered graduate school. He only started because starter Branden Dawson tore a left knee ligament in the regular-season finale against Ohio State.
Buford hit a game-winner with 1 second left to help the Buckeyes defeat the Spartans 72-70 on Michigan State's home court in the regular-season finale to claim a share of the title and prevent the Spartans from winning it outright.
Sullinger averaged 24 points and nine rebounds for the tournament.
Sullinger committed his second foul with 8:22 left in the first half. At that point, the Buckeyes led 18-17. Michigan State appeared to grab momentum late in the half. A putback by Green and a layup by Keith Appling late in the half gave the Spartans a 34-29 lead.
Aaron Craft scored on a putback, then Buford made a free throw after Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was issued a technical foul for disagreeing with a call, and the Spartans led 34-32 at halftime.
Sullinger immediately changed things for the Buckeyes, scoring nine points in the first 7 minutes of the second half. He made a jumper, Appling missed a layup on the other end and Thomas made a 3-pointer to put Ohio State ahead 52-45.
Wood answered with two 3-pointers to put the Spartans back ahead, highlighting a 10-0 run.
Late in the shot clock, Green found Wood under the basket. He caught the ball in midair while under the basket, and his reverse layup gave the Spartans a 62-57 lead with 7:27 to play.
Green's 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining put the Spartans up 67-62.
As good as Sullinger was throughout the tournament, his final minute was one to forget. He missed in close twice against Green, then missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 25 seconds remaining.
Austin Thornton's free throw with 12.7 seconds left put the Spartans up 68-64 and started the celebration for Michigan State's fans.
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