INDIANAPOLIS, Sporting Alert – Denzel Valentine had 19 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and two blocks and No. 2 Michigan State cruised to an 81-54 victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday.
Valentine, who many are backing as the best complete player in college basketball this season, was leading the Spartans (27-5) in points, rebounds and assists in a single game for the fourth time this term.
Eron Harris added 13 points, Deyonta Davis collected 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting, seven rebounds and two blocks in his first Big Ten Tournament outing while Matt Costello scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor for Michigan State, which won seven games in a row and 11 of 12.
The Spartans will take on No. 18 Maryland in Saturday’s tournament semifinal.
JaQuan Lyle had 10 points to lead the way for Ohio State, but no other player scored in double figures for the Buckeyes (20-13), who were losing back-to-back games against Michigan State and five straight in this series.
KANSAS PUT HOLDS OFF BAYLOR
In Kansas City, Perry Ellis finished with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting to help No. 1 Kansas beat No. 22 Baylor 70-66 in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals on the night.
Ellis was well supported by Devonte Graham, who added 14 points, eight assists and four steals, Wayne Selden Jr., who had 11 points, including a monstrous dunk, and four assists and freshman Carlton Bragg Jr., who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
The Jayhawks (29-4) led by 16 points with less than two minutes left, but had a shaky finish, which allowed Baylor to trim the lead down to three points in the final seconds of the game.
However, the nation’s top-ranked side was able to hold on for the win and advanced to another Big 12 tournament title game.
“I had one guy ask me yesterday, `Hey, when you get a lead in the last two minutes, why don’t you play your bench?” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “And I did. And it didn’t work out so great.”
Al Freeman scored 14 points to lead the Bears (22-11), who also collected 13 points and nine boards from Rico Gathers in the defeat.
Kansas will now play No. 9 West Virginia for the conference tournament title Saturday night, after the Mountaineers stunned No. 6 Oklahoma in the other semis.
TOP 25 SCORES
NO. 1 KANSAS 70, BAYLOR 66
NO. 3 VILLANOVA 76, PROVIDENCE 68
NO. 4 VIRGINIA 73, NO. 11 MIAMI 68
SETON HALL 87, NO. 5 XAVIER 83
NO. 9 WEST VIRGINIA 69, NO. 6 OKLAHOMA 67
NO. 7 NORTH CAROLINA 78, NOTRE DAME 47
NO. 8 OREGON 95, NO. 15 ARIZONA 89, OT
MICHIGAN 72, NO. 10 INDIANA 69
NO. 13 PURDUE 89, ILLINOIS 58
NO. 16 KENTUCKY 85, ALABAMA 59
NO. 17 TEXAS A&M 72, FLORIDA 66
NO. 18 MARYLAND 97, NEBRASKA 86