Sunday, March 26, 2000

Badgers, Spartans go 4-ward

Big Ten will have team in title game

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Big Ten climbed to the top of the ladder Saturday evening. Twice.

        The Wisconsin Badgers cut down the nets at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., to celebrate their first trip to college basketball's Final Four in more than a half-century, and two hours later Michigan State's Spartans were doing the same thing close to home at the Palace of Auburn Hills in honor of their second trip in as many seasons.

        The two teams will meet at the RCA Dome next Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, which means the conference has two Final Four teams for the second straight year and is guaranteed to have one championship-game entrant for the first time since Michigan made it in 1993.

        “This says a lot,” Michigan State forward Morris Peterson said. “It says the Big Ten is really moving up, moving in the right direction.”

        Michigan State's 75-64 victory over Iowa State in the Midwest Regional final was led by a combined 35 points from forward A.J. Granger and center Andre Hutson, who used their size advantage to overwhelm Iowa State's guard-oriented lineup.

        Wisconsin (22-13) won the West title over conference rival Purdue, 64-60, with Jon Bryant's 18 points providing the offense and the Badgers' defense as overwhelming as usual.


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