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Big Ten Tournament 2011: Michigan Moves On With 60-55 Victory Over Illinois

If the Michigan Wolverines were on the bubble going into today's action, they should be off of it now.

The Wolverines, who at this time last week were largely projected to end up in an NCAA Tournament "play-in" game, appear to have placed themselves firmly on the floor for the Big Dance after knocking off the Illinois Fighting Illini by a score of 60-55 in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament. Illinois was in control early, taking a 34-23 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Michigan stormed back in the final 20 minutes, outscoring the Illini 37-21 to give themselves the victory.

The Wolverines were led in scoring by guard Darius Morris, who scored 17 for the victors. Tim Hardaway, Jr. hit four of seven three-point attempts and wound up with 16 points in the winning effort. For Illinois, Brandon Paul, Mike Tisdale, and Demetri McCarney each had ten points.

In what may be a Big Ten Tournament record, the Fighting Illini only went to the free throw line three times on the afternoon, making two of their three foul shots. Michigan went 11-of-14 from the free throw line.

Michigan moves on to tomorrow's action, where they'll take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten semi-finals. Illinois' Big Ten Tournament is finished, but they'll likely still wind up in the NCAA field as a lower-seeded at-large team.

Next up is the evening session, which will kick off with the Purdue Boilermakers taking on the Michigan State Spartans. That game will get underway at 5:30 PM Central time on the Big Ten Network.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.