March 14, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Joe Krabbenhoft scored 12 points and Michael Flowers keyed eighth-ranked Wisconsin offensively and defensively in the Badgers' ugly 51-34 victory Friday over Michigan, the lowest-scoring game in Big Ten tournament history.
It was Wisconsin's eighth straight win, and its 21st in the last 23 games. The Badgers (27-4) will play the winner of the Ohio State-Michigan State game in Saturday's semifinals.
But it's not a game that will make anyone's highlight reel.
The teams combined for the fewest points in the 11-year history of the Big Ten tournament, "beating" the 89 scored by Michigan and Minnesota in the first round last year. Michigan's 34 points were also the fewest ever by a team, falling short of the 40 scored last year by Minnesota.
Wisconsin shot 34 percent for the game, including 27 percent in the second half. Brian Butch, the Badgers' leading scorer, was limited by foul trouble and finished with a season-low one point.
Flowers finished with 11 points, but it was his defense that really stood out. He completely flustered Michigan's leading scorer, Manny Harris, who managed only four points on 1-of-12 shooting. Harris, who had scored in double figures in all but four games this year, finished with more fouls (three) and turnovers (three) than field goals.
Not that the rest of the Wolverines were much better.
Michigan had more turnovers (14) than field goals (10), and shot a lowly 20 percent from the floor. Anthony Wright led the Wolverines with 11 points, and Zack Gibson added nine.
Despite making only three of their first 12 shots of the game, the Wolverines managed to pull within three on Wright's 3-pointer with 19:15 left to play. But Flowers made a 3, Marcus Landry scored six straight points and Wisconsin was back up 35-23. One of Landry's baskets provided the only true highlight of the game. He scored on a rim-rattling dunk on a behind-the-back feed from Jason Bohannon, drawing a roar of appreciation from the large contingent of Wisconsin fans in the crowd.
Another Wright 3 cut Wisconsin's lead to 42-32 with 8:18 left, but Krabbenhoft answered with a putback layup and the Wolverines could never get any closer.