PHOTOS: Michigan State Hangs 2018 Big Ten Championship Banner
Miles Bridges scored 19 points and Michigan State sent its three seniors out in style, dismantling Illinois 81-61 Tuesday night to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular season championship.
The Spartans (27-3, 15-2) nursed just a three-point lead at halftime, but they outscored the Illini 43-26 over the final 20 minutes. MSU earned its 27th win, a regular-season school record.
Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn Jr., Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter all were in the starting lineup for the Spartans (No. 2 AP, No. 1 USA Today). Nairn recorded three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes of play; Schilling added four points and six rebounds in 11 minutes; and Carter grabbed three boards and one assist in six minutes.
MSU can win the Big Ten regular season title outright with a win over Wisconsin in Madison on Sunday. If the Spartans finish tied with Ohio State they will be the No. 2 seed in next week's Big Ten tournament by way of tiebreaker (the Buckeyes beat MSU in the schools' only head-to-head meeting back in January).
MSU raised its 2018 Big Ten championship banner after the game. It's the Spartans' eighth Big Ten regular season championship under Tom Izzo and first since 2012.