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. 8 Michigan ended 15 years of Big Ten tournament frustration Saturday. Theres still some work to do before it can really celebrate. After blowing a 12-point second-half lead against its most bitter rival, Michigan closed the game with a 7-1 run and survived a potential tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds for its first tourney win over No. 24 Ohio State, 72-69. "We werent thinking about winning the Big Ten Conference championship, the tournament," Big Ten player of the year Nik Stauskas said. "We were thinking about just beating Ohio State. This is a rivalry game." For the Big Ten regular-season champs, it was a big moment. Michigan (25-7) hadnt won a semifinal game since 1998, when it won the inaugural tourney title only to vacate it because of NCAA rules violations. Since then, the Wolverines hadnt even won two straight games in the league tourney and had lost all six times it played the dreaded Buckeyes in Indianapolis or Chicago. Not this time. The top-seeded Wolverines started the game with an offensive flurry and ended it with a stout defensive stretch that ended with Buckeyes guard Aaron Craft losing control of the ball as he tried a 3-pointer that could have forced overtime. Instead, the Wolverines came up with the loose ball to eliminate the conferences defending tourney champion. Stauskas finished with 18 points. Ohio native Caris LeVert had 17 points and seven rebounds and Glenn Robinson III wound up with 11 points, including two free throws that gave Michigan the lead for good with 2:55 to play. The Wolverines won their seventh straight in large part because they were 12 of 23 on 3-pointers against the Big Tens top-rated 3-point defence and didnt allow a basket over the final four minutes. The only thing sweeter than beating the Buckeyes would be winning Sundays title game against No. 22 Michigan State. The Wolverines won both games against the third-seeded Spartans this season. Michigan State advanced with an 85-73 win over second-seeded Wisconsin in the second semifinal. "Those are the three best defensive teams in our league. Theyre just really difficult to score points on," coach John Beilein said, referring to the Badgers, Buckeyes and Spartans. But getting to Sunday wasnt easy, either. Michigan blew a 13-point lead in Fridays quarterfinal victory, surviving a scare from ninth-seeded Illinois when Jordan Morgans layup rolled in with 7.9 seconds to go and Illinois guard Tracy Abrams missed a driving layup at the buzzer. It was more of the same Saturday. Michigan led by as much as 16 in the first half and 12 in the second and still needed another late miscue to seal the win. Ohio State (25-9) was led by LaQuinton Ross with 19 points and Shannon Scott with 18, nearly pulling off a second stunning comeback in two days. After digging out of an 18-point deficit to beat Nebraska in Fridays quarterfinals, the Buckeyes wound up losing for only the third time in 10 games. "I feel like as a team when our heads underwater, we start fighting more," Scott said. "We started doing that again today." Ohio State, which struggled to open both halves, just couldnt finish this one off. Michigan opened the game with three straight 3s and led 15-2 after its opening flurry. The Buckeyes clawed back late in the half, getting within 41-37. But Ohio State gave up three more 3s to open the second half, allowing the Spartans to push the lead to 54-42 with 16:02 left. Again the Buckeyes rallied, using a 10-2 spurt that ended with Sam Thompsons alley-oop dunk, giving Ohio State its first lead at 61-60. Thats when last years national runner-up buckled down defensively. Michigan cut the Ohio State lead to 68-67 on an 18-foot jumper from Stauskas and regained the lead when Robinson made the two free throws. The Buckeyes couldnt get anything to go over the final four minutes, missing five straight shots and three of four free throws before Craft said the ball slipped out of his hands at the end. "I feel so fortunate right now," Beilein said. "You look at so many of our games down the stretch here, theyve ended just like this and the ball keeps bouncing our way. You only can have that type of luck if you have guys like these guys sitting next to me. They make enough smart plays to keep you in the game, and some games the ball will just bounce your way." Wholesale Jerseys China
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. Here at TSN.ca we will take a look back at the season by bringing together a panel of experts to help pick the best 50 players of the season.Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Miller faced his former team for the first time and his 20 saves helped the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Miller played against the team he won a Vezina Trophy with for the first time since being traded to St. Louis last February. He had a chance to play them late last season while with the Blues, but opted to sit out. His strong game saw his former team drop its 14th straight game, all in regulation, as the team is suffering through a franchise-record losing streak. Bo Horvat, Radim Vrbata, Chris Higgins, Nick Bonino and Yannick Weber all scored for the Canucks, who had lost two straight coming in. Chris Stewart had both the goals for the Sabres, who have also lost 14 straight games on the road. Matt Hackett allowed four goals on 37 shots in the loss. Buffalo took the initial lead in this game on the power play as Stewart stuffed in a rebound four minutes in, but Vancouver tied the game late in the first when Horvat jammed the puck in during a melee in front. The Canucks went on top in the second on a pair of power-play goals, wwith the first coming at 1:43 on Webers wrister on the fly from the right circle. Wholesale Stitched Jerseys
. Less than three minutes later, it was a 3-1 game as Vancouver had the puck down low and Bonino swatted it in out of mid-air for his 11th of the year. It seemed once we got those (goals), we started to play better, said Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins. Buffalo got another power-play goal from Stewart as he attempted a pass from the left side that hit off a Canuck in front and went in at 14:16 of the second. Vancouver took a 4-2 lead at 5:31 of the third off a crisp play that saw Dan Hamhuis fire a pass from the left point to the slot where Christopher Tanev handed it over to the low right side and Higgins one-timed it home. Vrbatas empty-netter in the final minute accounted for the final score. Game Notes Vancouver hosts Minnesota on Sunday ... Buffalo, which last won a game on Dec. 27 at home against the Islanders, and last won a road game on Nov. 29 at Montreal, plays in Montreal on Tuesday ... Vancouver was 2-for-4 on the power play, while Buffalo went 2-for-6. Wholesale NFL Jerseys
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