The Michigan State Spartans held on to defeat Purdue 66-62 to win the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday afternoon.
The Spartans have now played in six Big Ten Championship games winning five and are overall 27-14 in Big Ten tournament games all under Tom Izzo.
Denzel Valentine was the only Spartan to be named to the All-Tournament Team being named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player in the process.
Following the game Izzo talked about Valentine’s performance and what the win means to his team, especially the seniors.
“It was a really good time,” said Izzo. “I liked what Denzel (Valentine) did today. That’s what we said in the locker room before this. We’re just happy to be here and have this opportunity. I’m so proud of them and to win this tournament championship is great for our program.”
As for Valentine, he was happy with the win and knows the Spartans are playing some great basketball right now.
“All of the hard work we’ve put in. Our team does a great job down the stretch of playing defense and executing,” said Valentine. “It just feels really good.” On looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament: “I think with the way we’re playing, we could beat any team in the country. Our team does a really good job executing and playing hard down the stretch.”
In its sixth Championship Game appearance, Michigan State notched its fifth Big Ten Tournament title. Overall, MSU is 27-14 in tournament games. Coach Tom Izzo ‘s all-time tournament record is also 27-14. He’s the all-time leader in tournament coaching victories.
Michigan State trails Purdue, 66-53, in the all-time series, but the Spartans have won eight of the last nine meetings and 24 of the last 35. Michigan State is 4-0 vs. Purdue in Big Ten Tournament games.
The Spartans have won 13 of their last 14 games, improving their record to 29-5. MSU has an 8-1 record in its last nine games they’ve played in the Big Ten Tournament.
Denzel Valentine, the 2016 Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player, had 15 points Sunday (three game total of 52), 10 rebounds (26) and nine assists (28). With his four blocked shots tonight, Valentine tied the tournament record for blocks in a championship game.
Valentine now has 1,632 career points. His season total of 229 assists now ranks ninth all-time among Big Ten players. Valentine’s career total of 627 also ranks ninth among all-time Big Ten players.
Denzel Valentine also became the first player in Big Ten Tournament history to accumulate at least 100 points (134), at least 50 rebounds (69) and at least 50 assists (49).
For his career, Tom Izzo’s coaching record is 100-42 (.704) in the month of March. Michigan State out-rebounded Purdue, 41-31.
Michigan State’s tournament total of 119 rebounds ranks 10th-best all-time.
The Spartans’ 33-of-38 free throws (.868) during the Big Ten Tournament ranks third all-time.
Michigan State held Purdue 16 points below its season average of 78.2.
The Spartans are headed to St. Louis as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest bracket. They will face No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee who will enter the game with a 24-9 record.