In a rare instance, Michigan State fans probably rejoiced a victory by Michigan on Sunday.
Senior Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman had scored 17 points to lead No. 22 Michigan to a 74-62 win over No. 8 Ohio State in a Big Ten contest that did Michigan State a huge favor.
With the loss, Ohio State (22-7, 13-3 Big Ten) fell one game behind Michigan State for first place in the league standings with two games to play.
The Spartans can clinch at least a share of the regular season Big 10 title with a home win over lowly Illinois on Tuesday before finishing out at Wisconsin on Sunday.
Despite being out of the race for the conference title, Michigan (22-7, 11-5) enhanced its NCAA Tournament resume and stayed on Nebraska’s heels for fourth place in the league standings.
The top four teams earn double-byes for the upcoming conference tournament.
Michigan led 33-28 at halftime and gradually started to pull away in the second half, going up by nine at 53-44 with 10:42 remaining.
Ohio State closed to within three points at 55-52 with 7:53 left, but Michigan took control from there.
The Wolverines went on a 13-3 run to take a 68-55 lead with 2:12 remaining following a 3-point play by junior Moritz Wagner.
Freshman Jordan Poole came off of the bench to score 15 points for Michigan, a poor free-throw shooting team all season that for once had a decided edge at the line in avenging a 71-62 loss at Ohio State in December.
Michigan shot 17 of 24 from the foul line (70.8 percent) compared to 9 of 19 for Ohio State (47.4 percent).
Senior Jae’Sean Tate had 20 points and 15 rebounds and junior Keita Bates-Diop scored 15 points for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes finish the regular season at home against Rutgers on Tuesday and at Indiana on Friday.
Michigan closes out its regular season with two road games, at Penn State on Wednesday and at Maryland on Saturday.
—Field Level Media