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Badgers win, celebrate Big Ten title

Badgers win, celebrate Big Ten title

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The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team celebrated after its victory on Sunday.

After a 68-61 win over Michigan State at the Kohl Center, the Badgers clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title for the 18th time in program history – but the first since 2008.

Bronson Koenig (24) reaches for the ball during the Badgers' 68-61 win over Michigan State at the Kohl Center. PHOTO: David Stluka

Only Purdue (22), Indiana (21) and Ohio State (20) have more.

No. 5 Wisconsin (26-3, 14-2) and No. 14 Maryland (24-5, 12-4) – the only two ranked teams in the conference – have two more B1G games remaining, so there is a slight possibility the two teams finished tied – and Maryland did just beat the Badgers, 59-53 on Feb. 24.

Maryland plays on the road at Rutgers and Nebraska, while Wisconsin also finishes on the road at Minnesota and Ohio State.

Bronson Koenig (24) drives toward the basket during the Badgers' 68-61 win over Michigan State on March 1 at the Kohl Center. PHOTO: David Stluka

La Crosse, Wis., native Bronson Koenig was fairly quiet on Sunday, scoring just four points with three assists, a rebound and a turnover. He, again, led the team in minutes – the fourth game in a row he has done that.

Traevon Jackson hinted he would play against Michigan State on senior night, but did not. He hasn’t even been cleared to practice. He did, however, discard the walking boot since breaking his right foot on Jan. 11.

As for the game with the Spartans, it was never really in doubt. Wisconsin was up 36-25 at halftime and pushed the lead to as many as 22 in the second half.

Frank Kaminsky proved again he is one of the – if not “the best player in college basketball,” as MSU coach Tom Izzo hinted at in the post-game press conference – with 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting to go with eight rebounds, three blocks, three assists and two steals.

Frank Kaminsky (44) tosses the ball up for a basket during the Badgers' 68-61 win over Michigan State on Sunday, March 1 at the Kohl Center. PHOTO: David Stluka

Wisconsin shot 52 percent from the field, but was just 4 of 14 from beyond the arc. MSU, which was outrebounded 35-24, shot just 45.3 percent from the field, going 9 of 17 from deep.

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