MADISON, Wisc. (AP/WWJ) – Cassius Winston scored 20 points and went 6-for-6 from the 3-point line as No. 2 Michigan State held off Wisconsin 68-63 on Sunday to earn the outright regular-season Big Ten title.
Winston hit two 3s during an 11-2 run in the second half — the second with a defender in his face from well beyond the arc — to lead the Spartans (28-3, 16-2) in scoring.
The Spartans will be the 1-seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Their first game will be at noon on Friday against either Maryland or Wisconsin.
Miles Bridges wrapped up the Spartans’ 12th straight win with two foul shots.
It was a milestone victory in what has been a challenging season off the court for Michigan State basketball.
One issue involved Bridges. The star forward had 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting in his first game since getting cleared by the NCAA following a Yahoo! Sports article on Friday that identified him as one of many players who may have received improper benefits.
Winston and Nick Ward, who had 14 points, picked up the scoring slack. Winston’s 3 with 4:45 left gave the Spartans a 58-51 lead, a huge cushion in what had been a tight game.
Brad Davison finished with 30 points for Wisconsin (14-17, 7-11), including a 3 with 4.7 seconds left that had hometown fans holding out hope for an upset.
Davison nearly single-handedly brought Wisconsin back, giving the Badgers a huge boost even after aggravating a left shoulder injury. The freshman sprinted to the locker room with a trainer with about 14 minutes left before returning a couple minutes later and checking right back into the game to rousing applause.
He scored Wisconsin’s next six points, popping perimeter jumpers to electrify an already vocal home crowd in the regular season finale.
The Spartans have picked up steam at the end of the season, riding a 12-game winning streak since losing two of three games in early January.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.