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Wisconsin contains Trey Burke, upsets Michigan in Big Ten quarterfinals

Guard Ryan Evans takes hard tumble after being fouled second half Badgers’ upset. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Guard Ryan Evans takes a hard tumble after being fouled in the second half of the Badgers’ upset. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: April 17, 2013 6:13AM

After blue-collar Wisconsin had pulled off another surprise, beating star-laden Michigan 68-59 on Friday, Bo Ryan explained how he keeps winning with under-recruited players.

“When the guys come in, I put little stars on their lockers,’’ the Badgers coach said. “ ‘Hey, you’re a five-star guy. You’re a four-star.’ It’s what that star shines like when you’re finished with your career. It’s about us, not individuals.’’

The stars aligned for the Badgers (22-10) against Michigan (26-7), led by national player of the year front-runner Trey Burke.

Down 20-17 after shooting 17 percent (5-for-29) in the first half, Wisconsin erupted, shooting 61 percent (17-for-28) after the break while Burke (19 points, 8-for-22) had a tough day against the Badgers’ determined defense.

Next up for Wisconsin is Indiana, which has lost 11 in a row to the Badgers, including all nine meetings with Tom Crean as IU coach.

“I don’t know anything about that,’’ Ryan said. “When you say anything about records, I don’t even think about those kinds of things.’’

One explanation: Wisconsin, allowing a Big Ten-low 56 points per game, has done a good job of taking the air out of the ball against the Hoosiers, who lead the conference in scoring (80.8 ppg).

Ohio State 71,
Nebraska 50

The 10th-seeded Cornhuskers (15-18) had a nine-point lead in the first half, but the second-seeded Buckeyes (24-7) opened the second half on a 26-5 run and made 77 percent of their shots to blow open the game.

Big Ten leading scorer Deshaun Thomas was benched after a slow start but finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for Ohio State, and Sam Thompson scored 14 of his career-high 19 in the second half. LaQuinton Ross added 11 points. Aaron Craft had seven points and eight assists.

Ohio State coach Thad Matta was furious at his team’s early poor play, which was all part of the Buckeyes’ winning formula, according to Craft.

“We want to make sure coach is in the game early,” Craft joked. “We didn’t want him sleeping on the sideline, either. If we can get him going he gets us going. It’s working out well for us.”

Brandon Ubel scored 16 points and had seven rebounds for ­Nebraska. Shavon Shields added 14 points.

Ohio State shot 59.1 percent from the floor and 52.9 percent from beyond the arc after burying nine of 17 three-pointers. Nebraska went 3-for-19 on threes and shot 41.2 percent overall.

The Buckeyes’ bench outscored Nebraska’s reserves 21-7.

Michigan State 59,
Iowa 56

The Hawkeyes led by 12 with 10:26 remaining before the ­Spartans foiled the upset bid with a 22-2 run.

The victory propels Michigan State (25-7) into the second semifinal game on Saturday against Ohio State.

Gary Harris made his first three-pointer of the game with 4:09 left to give Michigan State its first lead at 50-49. The freshman also made two free throws in the final 30 seconds to help hold off the Hawkeyes (21-12).

Adreian Payne had 18 points and nine rebounds for Michigan State. Keith Appling and Harris had 13 apiece.

Iowa had 10 players score, but none hit double figures.

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